Videos played in court yesterday allegedly showed pastor Robert Martin Gumbura, the leader of RMG Independent End Time Message, insulting and threatening church members who rebelled against him with death and other misfortunes.
In one of the videos, Gumbura claimed that he owned all the women in the church. The videos were played during his trial in which he is facing charges of raping seven women from his church.
The State led by Mr Jonathan Murombedzi called its 11th and last witness Superintendent Ndabezinhle Moyo, the investigating officer in the case, who told the court that he recovered the DVD’s from Gumbura’s house.
The first video showed Gumbura giving a speech after last year’s Christmas party which was held at his church. In that speech, he claimed that all the women in the church were his. He also insulted those who tried to reprimand him.
“Ndini baba vechurch ino saka handidi vanhu vanondiendera kumberi. Ndikatora mukadzi moti ndatora mukadzi wemunhu, kwete ndinenge ndatora mukadzi wangu wandinenge ndambokupa. Vakadzi vangu vese ava saka ndikamutora ndewangu,” the video showed him as saying.
“How can an old woman come to me claiming that I am abusing Bester whom I am not even dating manje ndakutodzidzira kumuda Bester wacho. I heard that there are people going around gossiping that I am abusing other people’s children while I am safeguarding mine, handizvide izvozvo.
“I know that the people who left this church are the ones who are spreading such lies manje to hell with anamai Musharu who left this church, after all there is nothing special about her,” he said in the video.
Interestingly, Bester is now Gumbura’s 11th wife.
While being led by Mr Murombedzi, Supt Moyo told the court that all the victims told him they were afraid to report Gumbura to the police or runaway from his church for they feared to be placed in the hands of Satan.
They were responding to questions on why they took long to report the charges.
Supt Moyo showed another video in which Gumbura was commending people in the hands of Satan while preaching during a church service.
In the same video, Gumbura was somehow bragging and listed more than 10 people who allegedly died after he placed them in the hands of the devil.
Gumbura warned people who were putting letters in a suggestion box at the church complaining about his behaviour and also those who were writing bad things about him on social networks that he would make them suffer and die.
“Kana ndisingade kuti ubve pachurch pano haubve. I have my own way of sending you away nicely. You cannot leave my church without my permission,” he said in the video.
“I am your pastor and I am also human, hence I make my mistakes. Even if you see me today drinking Castle (beer) that does not mean that I no-longer have the powers to preach to you or commit you in the hands of Satan.
“Look at those who tried to be clever, where are they now? They are all dead after I placed them in the hands of Satan and Satan dealt with them,” the court heard.
He listed the people whom he claimed had died under his spells.
Gumbura further ordered everyone in the church to rise while he prayed to God so that Satan would kill some people. In his prayer he mentioned some of the victim’s names.
In the prayer, he said; “Satan tambanudza maoko ako utambire vanhu ava ndakupa in the name of Jesus. Ndoda kuti Mwari avatsiure nerufu, ngavafe, ngavashaye mabasa, mbereko, vashaye rugare mumamarriages avo, ngavaite tsaona . . .”
During cross-examination, Gumbura’s lawyer Ms Rekai Maposa accused Supt Moyo of working hand-in-hand with Pastor Chitsinde and the victims to lay false allegations against her client.
She also accused Supt Moyo of re-recording witnesses’ statements to suit their motives.
She argued why the statements had to be re-recorded after they had been initially recorded by the police’s victim friendly department.