via 2013: When ‘big fish’ faced the music | The Herald December 28, 2013 by Tendai Rupapa
This year, the Harare Magistrates’ Courts were jammed with cases involving high-profile personalities who allegedly committed crimes such as murder, rape, fraud and assault. Below we give an update of the most outstanding cases in the year.
The RMG Independent End Time Message leader stole the limelight when he appeared in court facing charges of raping seven women from his church. In his defence, Gumbura claimed that he was in love with five of the victims, hence they had consensual sexual intercourse.
Revelations of Gumbura’s dealings, especially his doctrine on marriage and sex, surprised many who followed the case.
Gumbura, who has 11 wives at home, said he slept with his many “girlfriends” by consent because he wanted to increase the number of his children from 30 to 100.
It is alleged that after raping the women, he would threaten them with death and tell them he had powers to commit them to the devil.
Gumbura will know his fate on January 8 when judgment is passed.
The MDC-T deputy national chairperson was accused of criminally obtaining a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ballot paper which he marked, sealed and reopened in a bid to cast aspersions on the electoral body to abet his party’s bid to discredit the harmonised elections held on July 31.
He was eventually sentenced to perform 350 hours of community service at Mabelreign Clinic by magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe, who ruled that he had committed fraud and contravened the Electoral Act.
Popularly known as Tich Mataz, the radio and television personality was accused of defrauding Star FM of over US$125 000.
He was recently removed from remand after he successfully applied for refusal of further remand on the basis that the State was not ready to proceed to trial.
A former workmate of Matambanadzo at Star FM, Milimo made headlines when he was arrested together with his two accomplices on allegations of kidnapping and murdering Tinashe Magorimbo through poisoning.
It is alleged Magorimbo was murdered after failing to pay DJ Munya US$5 000 compensation for having an affair with his wife.
The trio, who had their application for refusal of further remand dismissed recently, will be back in court on January 6.
The Harare lawyer made an appearance at the courts, this time in the dock, facing allegations of blocking the police from arresting four MDC-T officials.
The MDC-T officials were accused of compiling “dockets” against Government officials they accused of being corrupt.
She was discharged at the close of the State’s case after Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa ruled that the prosecution failed to prove a case against her.
Dudu Manhenga and Stalin Mau Mau
The afro-jazz crooner was sentenced to 18 months in prison after she was convicted of culpable homicide and driving without a licence.
She heaved a sigh of relief after the High Court granted her bail pending appeal against the sentence.
A few days later, boxing promoter and politician Stalin Mau Mau was ordered to perform 175 hours of unpaid work also for driving without a licence.
Wendall Parson and William Parson
Wendall, the Big Brother Star Game winner, and his brother William were facing fraud charges involving US$20 000 in a car insurance scandal.
But they were acquitted at the close of the State case.
The case can claim the accolade of being the most bizarre case to have come to the courts this year.
The two “witches” caught almost everyone’s attention when they were caught naked with paraphernalia associated with witchcraft at “prophet” Alfred Mupfambati’s shrine in Budiriro.
But it later turned out that Elmet Mbewe (43) and Christine Nyamupandu (33) were not witches as they had presented themselves to the nation.
They lived at Landas shops in Chihota and had been hired by the “prophet” to pose as witches at his shrine so that he could attract more clients.
Besides the high-profile characters, there were scores of other people – including kombi drivers, touts, perpetrators of assault, rapists and murderers – who also appeared at the courts.
Several cases of people who contravened the Electoral Act during the harmonised elections on July 31 also jammed the courts.#