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Zimbabwean church leader gets 50 year sentence for raping congregants

By Sapa-AP | 2014-02-05 07:34:38.0

Zimbabwean court officials say a church leader has been sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment for raping female congregants, forcing them to engage in sex orgies at his home, and for possessing pornography.

According to court documents viewed Tuesday, Magistrate Hosea Mujaya described Robert Gumbura, leader of RMG Independent End of Time Message, a religious sect, as a "wolf in sheep's skin" who abused his followers' trust.

It is alleged Gumbura coerced the women to perform sex orgies with him threatening to "commit them into Satan's hands" if they refused.

Gumbura, 57, who has 11 wives married under cultural tradition, and 30 children, pleaded not guilty to the charges maintaining the sexual acts were consensual and led to marriage if the women became pregnant, as part of his sect's doctrine.

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