State alters charges against women linked to "rapist" Pastor Gumbura

The State today altered charges against eight women linked to Independent End Time Message founder, Robert Martin Gumbura, as their trial kicked off today at the Harare Magistrates Court.

Robert Martin Gumbura
Robert Martin Gumbura

The eight were being charged for contravening the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act after they were allegedly caught in possession of 16 pornographic DVDs and 57 photographs of them posing nude.

In making the alteration, Prosecutor Michael Reza said the State had dropped the charges relating to the pornographic DVDs, meaning that they will now be tried for posing nude only.

The trial was held before Magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe.

The eight women, Amadeus Mutakwa (32), Pamela Kandawire (27), Veronica Mbanga (27), Tendai Kwatara (34) , Moreblessing Takawira (35), Runyararo Musvosvi (27), Choice Negaye (32) and Rutendo Mandiya (28) were granted $300 bail each in December by the Harare Magistrates Court.

Their arrest came after police received reports of child abuse at number 6 Helena Close, Malborough, where Gumbura and the accused wives live.

Acting on the tip off, police raided the residence and recovered 16 pornographic DVDs and 57 photographs of the eight women posing nude.

Three of the women were identified by the innvestigating officer, Tichaona Sengwe, after their nude pictures were brought in court as exhibit.

The eight however denied the charges.

They alleged that there were certain people seeking to tarnish the name of Gumbura hence the charges.

The defence counsel led by Rekayi Maphosa alleged that the evidence by the police was not credible as some of the pictures did not reflect the faces of the accused persons.

Gumbura himself is facing nine counts of rape for allegedly raping six female congregates of his church and his trial has been set for February.

Gumbura however denies the charges saying he had consensual sex with the women from his church.

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