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Jailed Robert Martin Gumbura Has Died

7 August 2021

Jailed Robert Martin Gumbura has died at Chikurubi Maximum Prison Hospital from suspected COVID-19.

Gumbura who was the leader of the Robert Martin Gumbura (RMG) Independent End Time Message was in jail serving a 40-year jail term which was later reduced to 20 years after appeal.

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Freelance journalist Hopewell Chin'ono posted on Twitter on Saturday saying he had been informed that Gumbura had died. He said:

I have just been informed that Robert Martin Gumbura has died at Chikurubi Maximum Hospital from Covid-19.

He was in prison for rape and was famous for having 25 wives and a church!

I met him 3 times at Chikurubi when I was jailed on trumped-up charges by the regime!

Meanwhile, some have expressed concern over the health of other inmates as they might be exposed to COVID-19. Said one James responding to Chin'ono's post:

How safe is the prison environment under these covid times? Are the other inmates safe? I guess we need a mandatory vaccination program for all inmates.

Zimbabwean prisons are overcrowded and the government has previously pardoned some prisoners with minor offences to decongest the correctional institutions.

A senior prisons officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said it is surprising considering that there was never an outbreak of COVID-19 at an overcrowded Chikurubi Maximum Prison. He said:

I cannot confirm his death but it's surprising considering that we only had an outbreak at Bindura (Prison).

COVID-19? Gumbura was challenging imprisonment and conviction and he could win. Do you know he was arrested for political reasons? After refusing to release his Eldorado Mine and also after contesting against Goodwills Masimirembwa. Yes, he might have died of COVID-19 but I am not dismissing foul play.

Gumbura joined the End Time Message Church in 1978 and later broke away from the main church in the 1990s because of the doctrine of polygamy and formed his church called Robert Martin Gumbura (RMG) Independent EndTime Message Church.

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