ZIMBABWE – Jailed Independent End Time Message leader, Robert Martin Gumbura, communicated with former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru from prison cells through letters, strategising on how they were going to form their political party, the court heard yesterday. This was revealed by a State witness, Claudius Mutizwa, a former police detective who once shared a jail cell with Gumbura in an ongoing trial in which the church leader and eight others are accused of masterminding a foiled jailbreak at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
During cross-examination by Gumbura’s lawyer, Mr Tapson Dzvetero, Mutizwa told the court that one prison officer — Chinake — and the Deputy officer-in-charge of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison Superintendent Jealous Dumbura, were the ones working with Gumbura, acting as messengers conveying letters outside prison.
Mr Dzvetero asked Mutizwa if it was possible for Gumbura to write letters to Dr Mujuru seeking help for his release from prison considering that she was no longer the Vice President of this country.
However, in response, Mutizwa said: “Whether she was still the Vice President or not what I know is that she was communicating with him. Gumbura wanted to form a political party so he wanted to join forces with (Dr) Mujuru,” he said.
He added: “Gumbura said he was rigged when he contested for Mabvuku-Tafara hence as an aggrieved person, he was going to do the ‘Boko Haram’ style using inmates. When P.O 1 Chinake was given the letters, he was to meet someone in town who would pass them to Mujuru.”
The court further heard that Gumbura, who controlled inmates and other prison officers, would write letters to inmates in other halls asking if they would have received cigarettes from him. “In the letters he promised the inmates heaven on earth after completion of the mission,” he said.
Mr Dzvetero called Mutizwa a liar saying that he was fabricating stories in court. He also questioned why Supt Dumbura was not charged if he connived with Gumbura in masterminding the jail break.
“I put it to you that your evidence is false, it could have been corroborated by other witnesses. If you were telling the truth, Supt Dumbura would have been sitting in the dock as an accused person since you are saying he connived with Gumbura in planning the jailbreak,” he said.
Mr Dzvetero applied for an inspection-in-loco after Mutizwa told the court that from where he sat in his cell, he could see what was happening in other halls. Mr Dzvetero told the court that he wanted to see if that was possible. The inspection-in-loco will be conducted this week.
Mr Dzvetero had no kind words for Mutizwa whom he accused of evading questions which tend to exonerate Gumbura from the commission of the offence. However, Mutizwa confirmed that he did not see Gumbura participating in the rioting of March 13.
Gumbura is jointly charged with Blessing Chauke (25), Lucky Mhungu (38), Taurai Dodzo (47), Thomas Chacha (37), Thulani Chizema (32), Jacob Sibanda (28), Elijah Vhumbunu (38) and an armed robber, Lucky Matambanadzo (39).
The magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo rolled over the matter to today for continuation of trial. Mr Michael Reza prosecuted.