Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
The trial of jailed RMG Independent End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura and his six accomplices on charges of attempting to escape from prison will proceed after an application by the legal counsel, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, for its postponement by a week was dismissed.
Mr Madhuku had informed the court that the postponement was to enable his clients to file for a review at the High Court of a judgment by the lower court dismissing their application for discharge at the close of the State case recently.
Gumbura, Blessing Chauke (29), Lucky Mhungu (42), Taurai Dodzo (51), Thomas Chacha (41), Elijah Vhumbunu (42), and Lucky Matambanadzo (43 are facing charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody, incitement in aggravating circumstances or alternatively conspiracy in aggravating circumstances for malicious damage to property.
For the State, Mr Michael Reza had opposed the application. He told the court that he sympathised with Mr Madhuku because he worked on instructions from his clients.
“There is no order to stay these proceedings before the court and nothing can stop Mr Madhuku from making the application for review of the judgment or for stay of proceedings at the High Court.
“The State is therefore making an application that we proceed with the defence case,” he said.
Harare magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo dismissed Mr Maduhuku’s application saying the accused persons should have made an urgent chamber application for stay of proceedings at the High Court.
He said there was nothing before him, therefore the application was dismissed.
It is alleged that during the morning of February 13, 2015 in B Hall, Gumbura allegedly incited other inmates to protest over the quality of food they were being served.
Chauke, Matambanadzo, Mhungu, Dodzo, Chacha, Vhumbunu, and three other inmates — who are now deceased — allegedly also influenced inmates to reject the porridge they were served, which did not have sugar, to aid their escape.
This resulted in prisoners vandalising property estimated at $500 000.