Jailed rapist Robert Martin Gumbura, the former leader of the RGM End Time Message church, was a happy man on Friday following his graduation with a Certificate in Peace Education.
Martin Gumbura was among other convicts, who graduated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison on Friday.
However, he was awarded the certificate in absentia since he was attending a routine court appearance on fresh charges that arose during his incarceration.
Speaking after the graduation, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service Deputy Commissioner-General Social Ndanga said 18 inmates and two officers who commenced their training lessons in February when the programme was launched managed to graduate on Friday.
He told a local tabloid that, among the graduands are prisoners under a death sentence.
Commissioner-General Ndanga added that this graduation was a clear testimony that being behind bars is not the end of the world and that incarceration was not a barrier for one to achieve their goals.
He went on to encourage other inmates to follow suit and take advantage of such opportunities.
In 2014 Gumbura made headlines after he was convicted of four counts of rape and one on possession of pornographic material.
Testimony at the trial alleged that he had claimed he had the right to have sexual intercourse with any woman in his congregation.
He was initially sentenced to 50 years in Chikurubi Prison, but 10 years were suspended from his sentence for good behavior, resulting in an expected sentence of 40 years.
In 2020, following yet another appeal, High Court judges, Justice Felistus Chatukuta and Justice Pisirayi Kwenda slashed Gumbura’s prison sentence in half citing that the original decision by the Magistrates’Court was “a bit outrageous and unjust.”
Gumbura who was originally sentenced to serve an effective 40 years in prison, is now serving only 20 years. Of the new 20-year sentence, Gumbura has already served half of his prison sentence taking into account the one-third remission.
As of 2021, Gumbura remains in prison pending appeals and an application for bail.