Robert Gumbura’s legal team has said the reduction of their client’s rape jail term from 40 to 20 years is not enough.
As a consequence, the lawyers have approached the High Court seeking leave to appeal the court’s decision at the Supreme Court.
The cleric was jailed effective 40 years following his conviction on four counts of rape and one count of illegally possessing pornographic material in 2014.
Gumbura approached the High Court arguing the sentence was harsh. The court, sitting as an Appeals Court, reduced the sentence by half early this month, agreeing that it was a bit extreme.
In his latest application, filed at the High Court this Tuesday, Gumbura’s lawyer Mr. Tapson Dzvetero, said there were reasonable prospects of success on appeal.
Speaking to The Herald he argued that it was a misdirection on the part of the High Court, not to treat the sentences as one for the purposes of sentencing.
He said he believes the Supreme Court will determine that a 20-year sentence for a 57-year-old is a bit excessive.
Although sentencing is a matter of discretion, I believe that the Supreme Court may determine a total of 20 years on a 57-year-old man is manifestly excessive. It may also be persuaded that all separate sentences ought to run concurrently.
During the appeal hearing at the High Court, the defence team had asked the court to reduce the jail term to 10 years on each count of rape and the counts to run concurrently, so that Gumbura would serve 10 years. Since he has already served the 10 years, taking into account the one-third remission, the cleric will be released if the appeal succeeds.
Gumbura was sentenced to 50 years in prison after he was convicted of four out of nine counts of rape and one of illegally possessing pornographic material. 10 years were conditionally set aside.
He was also jailed four months for breaching the Censorship and Entertainment Act. The sentence would run concurrently with the 40-year jail term.