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We Were Advocating for Proper Meals: Gumbura

Rape convicted pastor and RMG End Time Massage church founder, Robert Martin Gumbura together with his nine accomplices accused of masterminding a flopped prison break attempt at Chikurubi Maximum Prison in 2015 have applied for discharge at the close of the state’s case.

In their application, Gumbura together with eight others namely Blessing Chauke (25), Lucky Mhungu (38), Taurai Dodzo (47), Thomas Chacha (37), Thulani Chizema (32), Jacob Sibanda (28) and Elijah Vhumbunu (38) and armed robber, Lucky Matambanadzo (39) told the court that all they did was to persuade those in authority to revise their meal ideas.

“There is nothing which shows that the accused persons wanted to flee prison or rather the mere fact of complaining about food? Was it shouting at Prisons officers? reads the application for discharge.

Gumbura and his accomplices further wrote that, “It was clear from the evidence before court that the accused persons were unhappy with the food and they sought a collective voice to persuade the authorities to improve the quality of food.”

However, the application was tendered to the court later today with the magistrate requesting for more time to make a ruling.

According to the State, represented by Michael Reza, on February 13, 2015 at around 9am, the inmates refused to eat porridge which had no sugar while demanding to see the officer-in-charge, a Chief Superintendent Marange, who then sent his deputy, a Superintendent Dumbura, to address them.

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At that time, the inmates refused to be addressed by Dumbura, throwing away food that had been brought to them for  lunch.

Dumbura left the complex’s C Hall and went to D Hall, where he ordered food to be brought in and served to those who wanted to eat.

The now deceased, Titus Mandikodza went on top of the roof through a hole on the asbestos sheets, which they had already drilled.

It is further alleged that Vhumbunu and Sibanda took sadza and vegetable relish and threw it at Dumbura resulting in violence breaking out with prisoners vandalizing property worth over $450 000.

Gumbura was sentenced to 50 years in prison for rape with 10 years set aside for good behaviour, however if convicted the suspended period will be added to his sentence.

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Journalist based in Harare

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