Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Robert Martin Gumbura's Wives PUNANI Case In A New Twist

A lawyer representing jailed rapist Robert Martin Gumbura’s wives in an alleged po_rnography possession case has slammed the State for infringing on her clients’ rights by keeping them on remand for more than three years.

The women — including the cleric’s congregants — Choice Neganye, 32, Amadeus Mutakwa, 32, Rutendo Sekai Mandiya, 28, Pamela Kandawire, 27, Runyararo Musvosvi, 27, Veronica Mbanga, 27, Tendai Kwatara, 34 and 35-year-old Moreblessing Takawira, are charged with contravening the Censorship Act.

When they appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza on Friday, their lawyer Rekai Maphosa applied for further remand refusal since the case is pending review by the High Court.

“My clients have been on remand for an unreasonable time exceeding three years. This tramples on their constitutional rights to a fair trial within a reasonable time,” Maphosa told the court.

“The State would not be prejudiced, if they are removed from remand until the apex court finalises the review.”
Robert Martin Gumbura's Wives PUNANI Case In A New Twist
Proceedings in the matter were stalled in 2014 after the then presiding magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe denied the investigating officer a chance to testify because she had sat through the proceedings.

Chikwekwe ruled that he would not accept production of the statements as exhibits by detective Tariro Rangwani because “they cast doubt”.

He claimed that Rangwani had fabricated her own statements relying on the evidence she heard in court since she sat through some of the proceedings.

“From the onset, the person who claimed to be the investigating officer monitored court proceedings from day one as she sat in court since commencement of trial,” he said, adding that “her conduct is unethical and unorthodox of an investigating officer”.

Prosecutor Michael Reza challenged the magistrate’s ruling at that time saying it was an obstruction of justice.

He said the magistrate’s decision had landed him in a predicament and sought review of the proceedings which are still pending before the High Court.

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.

They claim 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 po_rnographic DVDs and 57 nu_de photographs of themselves, 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.

Source: Daily News

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