Nude pictures that were found at convicted Independent End Time Church founder Robert Martin Gumbura’s residence were an assault on local customs and traditions, a Harare magistrate heard yesterday.

During the trial of eight women from Gumbura’s church — inclusive of his wives — which was heard before Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe, State witness Heyi James Malaba, the chairperson of the National Censorship Board, condemned the pornographic material.

Choice Neganye, 32, Amadeus Mutakwa, 32, Rutendo Sekai Mandiya, 28, Pamela Kandawire, 27, Runyararo Musvosvi, 27, Veronica Mbanga, 27 Tendai Kwatara, 34 and Moreblessing Takawira, 35, all denied contravening the Censorship Act.

The 93-year-old National Censorship Board chairperson was asked by prosecutor Michael Reza to review and comment on the obscene pictures.

Reza produced photographs of the women, striking different poses while parading their naked bodies.

Malaba said: “These pictures are very disgraceful, and of pornographic nature. Our culture and tradition would not accept this.” He said Gumbura’s women had violated the Constitution by producing pictures of that nature.

“If pornographic pictures are viewed with a second element, they cease to be private and become crime. It actually becomes a violation of the Constitution,” he said.

In their defence outline, the women said the allegations were propelled by Gumbura’s adversaries, who wanted to make sure that he goes to prison with his wives.

Their lawyer Rekai Maposa told the court the women took each other photographs out of fun and for personal consumption and never disseminated the pictures.

Maposa claims that no offence was committed because the police discovered the pictures in a private room, locked up in a cupboard.

According to State papers, the women were allegedly found in possession of 16 pornographic DVDs and 57 photographs of themselves nude, following a police raid.

The women were arrested after police officers received information claiming incidences of child abuse at Number 6 Helena Close, Marlborough, Harare, the court heard.

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