CONVICTED rapist and former RMG Independent End Time Message frontman Robert Martin Gumbura has been dumped by his lawyers for as yet unknown reasons.
The move by the lawyers forced the High Court to postpone a planned appeal against both conviction and sentence by the disgraced cleric.
Gumbura has, since his arrest early last year, been represented by advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba and Rekayi Maposa.
The two attorneys reportedly bailed, leaving Tapson Dzvetero to stand in for the ex-clergyman.
High Court Judges, Felistas Chatukuta and David Mungota ordered Dzvetero to file assumption of urgency and called on Magwaliba to file an application for renouncement of urgency before end of day Monday.
In his notice of appeal, Gumbura who was convicted of raping his congregants and jailed for 40 years, argued that the magistrate had erred and misdirected himself in finding him guilty as well as committing him to prison.
Instead, he is praying that the High Court quashes both conviction and sentence on the basis that the state witnesses’ testimonies were not credible.
“It is clear that the magistrate’s finding that the complainants were credible is plainly wrong,” he argues.
“The honourable magistrate simply took lock-stock and barrel the narrative of the complainants, discarding the explanation given by the appellant and the probabilities.”
Gumbura argued that the trial magistrate should have acquitted him but failed to critically examine each sexual abuse allegation and the merits thereof.
“The trial magistrate negated his duties, nor did he evaluate evidence of the witnesses to come up with an appropriate decision, hence acquittal was the competent verdict under the circumstances,” read part of the appeal.
“In this regard, the magistrate was regrettably swayed by non-legal considerations and passed a moral judgment.
“Most fundamentally, the honourable court was obligated to critically examine each allegation of sex in the surrounding circumstances.
“It was further enjoined to consider whether the delay in reporting the sexual offences was not a factor indicative of the consensual nature of the sex.”
However, Editor Mavuto of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is arguing that the 40 year sentence handed by the Harare magistrate was appropriate as there was overwhelming evidence.