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A YEAR after he was jailed 40 years for rape, disgraced cleric Robert Martin Gumbura employed two body guards and a secretary in prison, a Harare court heard Friday.
Testifying against Chikurubi inmates accused of inciting a food riot early this year, chief state witness Claudius Mutizwa also told court that Gumbura owned a large “base” in B Hall cell where other inmates would be “piled on top of each other” for lack of space.
Gumbura, 59, and several accomplices are being charged with masterminding a food riot in a bid to escape from lawful custody.
“He owned the largest base and had two body guards and a secretary, David Mwanjira, who recorded everything that was going on in prison,” he said.
Mutizwa, a former detective constable, told the court that Mwanjira was his best friend.
He also revealed that Gumbura smuggled 960 bricks of cigarettes and four boxes of pizza with the help of his wives.
He told the court that he assisted Mwanjira to record Gumbura’s belongings including cigarettes, further revealing that he personally kept 3 sacks of cigarettes for the shamed pastor in the prison library.
Continuing, Mutizwa insisted that Gumbura was one of the chief architects of the riot.
“He (Gumbura) came to me on 11 February and asked me if I was happy with the type of food we were getting.
“He said we were cowards and went on to say that if it was in South Africa prisoners would have broken prison walls over this.
“He approached me again the following day and was in company of his bodyguards and secretary.”
During his last appearance, Mutizwa also told court that the former cleric was a “prison Godfather” supplying food to both inmates and officers.
This made the cleric popular with prisoners as well as officers, court heard.
Gumbura and his accomplices are also accused of beating up law officers and damaging property at the country’s largest prison on the fateful day.
They are all denying the charges and claim that the riot was triggered by Zanu PF factionalism.
The trial continues Friday with Mutizwa taking to the witness stand again. source-newzimbabwe