Caged End Time Message church leader, Robert Gumbura has filed a High Court appeal against his conviction and sentence to 40 years in jail for rape.
Gumbura is also challenging the four-month concurrent prison sentence for possession of pornographic material.
Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya sent the ‘pastor’ to jail on Monday after finding him guilty on four counts of rape involving three women and the pornographic charge.
But in an appeal filed on Tuesday, Gumbura said he was wrongly convicted and described the sentence as “shocking”.
He wants the higher court to clear him of any wrong down.
“Appellant prays for the quashing of the conviction and sentence in respect of all the counts, even those of rape, as the sentence induces the sense of shock in the circumstances,” reads part of the notice of appeal.
The church leader – who has 11 wives and 30 children – had faced nine counts of raping six women and one of possessing pornographic material.
He was cleared on four counts relating to three other women for lack of evidence.
In his appeal, Gumbura argues that the court convicted him even though witnesses were not credible.
He adds that the evidence of the witnesses was fraught with inconsistencies and that the magistrate had convicted him without the State proving a case against him.
Regarding the pornography charge, Gumbura the court convicted him without establishing that he indeed possessed the said material.
In addition, the sentence of four months on that count was “too harsh and shocking considering that the (relevant) Act provided for imposition of a fine as an option.
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Gumbura jailed for effective 40 years