By Mary Taruvinga
INCARCERATED Robert Martin Gumbura’s prison nightmare is now set to end in just five years after the High Court considered his appeal and proceeded to slash his sentence by half.
The rape accused RMG End Time Message leader was serving an effective 40-year jail term.
But he will now have to serve half of the years following a successful appeal against sentence.
The polygamous 64-year-old was initially slapped with a 50 year jail term, but will now have to serve just 20 years.
His lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku said Thursday he might have five years remaining considering the remission of sentence.
“In the magistrates’ court, he was given 50 years before 10 years were suspended conditionally.
“He has been in jail since 2014 meaning that he has already served part of the remaining sentence, also taking into account what it is called remission of sentence.
“You will find out that he is left with about five years,” said Madhuku.
The appeal was heard by Justices Charles Hungwe and Edith Mushore.
During the appeal hearing, prosecutor Editor Mavuto conceded that the sentence against Gumbura was too harsh considering his crimes.
He however said his prospects of success were very slim.
Mavuto said the reason why the State consented to the reduction of Gumbura’s prison term was because the regional magistrate erred in convicting him over a complainant who alleged she was raped twice.
He said the State agreed that she was indeed raped on the first encounter but failed to bring out the abuse on the second count.
The prosecutor said her testimony showed that she later gave in to the sexual requests of the libidinous cleric.
Gumbura is accused of raping several female congregants and threatening to place them in the hands of the devil if they refused.
He is however facing another offence of attempted jail break with other six inmates.
He is represented by Madhuku and Tapson Dzvetero.
The two lawyers are instructing Advocate Sylvester Hashiti.