Harare, February 27, 2014 -The State has urged the court to dismiss convicted serial rapist Robert Martin Gumbura’s application for bail pending appeal on the basis that it has no merits.
The State, represented by Area Prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi, said releasing Gumbura on bail will threaten the interest of justice and the integrity of the justice delivery system in Zimbabwe as the sentence which was passed by the court was too lenient.
The presiding magistrate was guided by the regional court’s jurisdiction which cannot pass a life sentence.
Mr Murombedzi submitted that no court of appeal can be expected to temper with the sentence or reduce it by less than ten years per count taking into consideration the age differences between the convict and his victims.
He said the court should consider that there was a spiritual relationship of trust between Gumbura and the congregants which have now turned to be victims.
The State further submitted that Gumbura forced the victims to watch pornographic videos before raping them and further forced the victims to practice group sex.
The prosecutor expressed shock over Gumbura’s application for bail pending appeal, saying the fact that he was acquitted on other counts suggests that the court was judicious and convicted him where the proof was beyond reasonable grounds.
He reminded the applicant that the video evidence which was produced in court was enough to show that threats were used against the victims, which was consistent with testimonies of witnesses.
The State said Gumbura blamed his fate on Pastor Godwin Chitsinde, but surprisingly he admitted to having sexual intercourse with members of his congregation including some of the victims.