BY MOSES MATENGA
Convicted rapist and leader of the End Time Message church Robert Martin Gumbura died of Covid-19 complications yesterday.
Gumbura was jailed for raping several women and possession of pornographic material.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) confirmed that the 65-year-old succumbed to Covid-19 related complications at the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison hospital.
“As ZPCS, we would like to inform the nation that one of our long-serving inmates Martin Robert Gumbura has passed away this afternoon at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison hospital,” ZPCS national spokesperson Superintendent Meya Khanyezi said.
“He succumbed to Covid-19 complications. The next-of-kin has been advised.
Polygamous Gumbura was jailed in 2014 for an effective 40 years, but his sentence was slashed by half following an appeal.
Gumbura was accused of raping several female congregants and threatening to place them in the hands of the devil if they turned down his advances.
He was also found guilty of possession of pornographic material and at the time of his death, he was facing another offence of attempted jail break along with six other inmates.
He had less than five years remaining in prison when he died. He, however was also being charged for the attempted 2015 prison break together with Blessing Chiduke, Luckmore Matambanadzo, Luck Mhungu, Taurai Dodzo, Thomas Chacha, Thulani Chizema, Jacob Sibanda and Elijah Vhumbunu.
There are fears that Covid-19 is spreading in Zimbabwe’s crowded prisons.
In July last year, The Standard exposed how the prisons had become a death trap with no adequate measures put in place to protect inmates from the coronavirus.
Non-governmental organisations said they were not being allowed to donate to prisons under the Covid-19 induced lockdown, making it difficult to assist the prisoners who are in need of personal protective equipment, hand sanitiser, among other necessities.