Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
They winked and nodded at their husband Robert Martin Gumbura as he walked into the courtroom. Six of his 11 wives occupied the front row to have a good look at their husband.
The rest were said to be at home.
The women could not take their eyes off each other.
Gumbura, on the other hand, was not following court proceedings.
While 40 years may appear a lifetime to others, Gumbura’s 11 wives are still hopeful their husband will taste freedom one day.
“Some did not manage to come today but we are still a team,” said one of the six wives who attended court yesterday.
“There are additions to the family as three co-wives who were expecting at the time our husband was sent to jail now have babies.
“We now have two boys and a girl. The youngest will have its first birthday in a few days,” she said.
In February last year Gumbura was sentenced to an effective 40-year jail term on four counts of rape involving three women and possessing pornographic material.
He went to jail leaving behind his 11 adoring wives Tafadzwa Makoni (53), Queen Bunga (46), Tecla Muzungwani (38), Chipo Mhlanga (35), Choice Neganje (33), Concilia Mukandawire (34), Amanda Mbanga (28), Amadias Mutakwa (33), Pretty Rushwaya (28), Pamela Mkandawire (28) and Bester Runyowa (25) and 30 children.
Three months into his sentence, Gumbura was back in court standing trial for raping a girl he adopted, with the alleged assistance of his secretary, Tendai Ganyani.
The matter was referred to the High Court for review last year.
On February 13 this year, Gumbura allegedly incited inmates to protest over alleged infringement of their rights at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.
He allegedly told the inmates that Zimbabweans were foolish and that if it was in South Africa, inmates would have protested and broken all prison window- panes.
He told the inmates to protest for better quality food by singing throughout the night.
All inmates in B, C and D halls spent the whole of that night singing and banging cell bars denouncing the type of food they were being served.
Around 9am the following day, the inmates refused to eat porridge and demanded to see the officer-in-charge.
Violence erupted, with prisoners vandalising property whose value is estimated at $450 000.
It alleged that the inmates attacked prison officers, seriously injuring three.
During the melee, they tried to escape, but their bid was foiled by the police’s Support Unit.