THE curtain came down Tuesday on infamous pastor Robert Martin Gumbura’s trial for serial rape cases and possession of pornographic material with an effective 40-year jail term for the man of the cloth.
Gumbura, the founder of RTG Independent End Time Message Church, sexually abused desperate members of his church after threatening to commit them to the devil if they resisted his evil deeds.
It took six courageous women to end the disgraced church leader’s reign of terror after they filed charges with the police.
Cases brought by three women were dropped due to lack of evidence, but the remaining three whose cases were successfully prosecuted were enough to put Gumbura away probably for the rest of his life considering his age.
There is reason to believe that more women would come forward now that he has been tamed.
He has lost that aura of invisibility now that he is behind bars and those who were violated, but were too afraid to report the cases should now step out.
Gumbura’s case grabbed the nation’s attention because here was a church leader who brainwashed women and used them as sex slaves.
The prosecutors had justifiably sought to have him jailed for at least 100 years, but the magistrate did not grant their wish because his court had no jurisdiction to impose a higher sentence.
According to the police, rape is a growing cancer in our society.
At least 400 children were raped and 392 adults were sexually abused in 2013. In the majority of cases, women were raped as they walked alone in secluded areas, while children were raped mostly by relatives and neighbours, police say.
However, an emerging thread is that of church leaders preying on their folk. No day goes by without stories of so-called prophets or church leaders being dragged to courts for sexually violating their followers after promising to help solve their problems.
Gumbura’s case should provide valuable lessons that church leaders are not untouchable when it comes to the law and that women should not trust everyone using the Bible to put them in vulnerable positions.
Our society still has a lot of Gumburas that are on the prowl and this means law enforcement agents and women should remain on guard.