By A Correspondent | The following story narrates how the late jailed preacher Robert Martin Gumbura Ran out of both luck and life as he was to be released from prison this year.
Gumbura’s Lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku tells ZimEye the man was set to be released this year, meaning his sentence of 40 years was being cut down.
Gumbura died today and it was reported that he died due to COVID-19.
The ZANU PF card carrying member, was fighting his conviction for rape passed 7 years ago.
For years he maintained that he was innocent.
Speaking to ZimEye, Prof Madhuku said after getting bail pending appeal, his chances of getting bail were now very high, adding that this was to happen this year.
Below is an exclusive interview with the late preacher’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku on Saturday evening. Prof Madhuku spoke to ZimEye’s Simba Chikanza.
Madhuku: It’s a very devastating death I am quite sad about it I am still not aware of what exactly happened, because I just got the news; I am out of Harare. I am still to check what happened.
Qu: So you are not aware of these reports that say he died because of covid?
Madhuku: that’s what I just got but that’s only come out at the same time as the news of his death. but we never got to know about the fact that it was because of covid-19.
Qu: when was he due to be released?
Madhuku: yes we had actually succeeded in getting his yes and sentence reduced from the sentence of 40 years to any effective sentence of 20 years and he had served a substantial portion of it.
We had also obtained relief for him to appeal, he had actually filed an appeal and we were now in the process of wanting to get bail pending appeal.
Qu: so that would mean that he would be released this year then?
Madhuku: I missed what you said. What I can tell you is that…
Qu: He was likely to be released this year, then, most likely?
Madhuku: Yes I think we were going to get something like that. Because after Kereke got bail pending appeal, his chances of getting bail were also very high, now.
Qu: Do you know enough about the conditions of the prisons?
Madhuku: under this current COVID situation they are really bad conditions there. I think the death really shows that something has to be done about the conditions, I think they have to improve; we have to attend; that death sends a message about the conditions.