THE eight women from Robert Martin Gumbura's (RMG) Independent End Time Message Church, who were early this year charged with possessing pornographic materials, yesterday gave the State notice of their intention to apply for refusal of remand at the next court hearing date.
Through their lawyer Rekai Maposa, the women, some of whom are Gumbura's wives, told provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe that the State was reluctant to file heads of arguments in response to their application for a review of their court's proceedings filed at the High Court five months ago.
The women's trial was adjourned midway after Maposa cited irregularities in the manner the trial was being conducted and sought to have the matter referred to the High Court for the judges to make a determination.
"The record is before the High Court for review where it was sent five months ago. So far nothing has been done by the State to ensure that the matter is heard at the High Court where the State is yet to file its heads of arguments," Maposa said.
"Continuously remanding the accused persons when the State has not yet made any efforts to ensure the matter is placed before the judge for hearing is prejudicial to the accused persons. Therefore if the State fails to provide the notice of setdown on the next court date we will apply for refusal of further remand."
After the application, Mahwe remanded the women to September 30 this year and told the State to ensure something would have been done by that date.
The accused persons Choice Neganye (32), Amadeus Mutakwa (32), Rutendo Sekai Mandiya (28), Pamela Mkandawire (27), Runyararo Musvovi (27), Veronica Mbanga (27), Tendai Kwatara (34) and Moreblessing Takawira (35) are all being charged with contravening the Censorship Act.
However, in their defence outlines, they claimed the allegations against them were instrumented by Gumbura's adversaries, who were eager to make sure that he was incarcerated with his wives.
According to State papers, the women were allegedly found in possession of 16 pornographic DVDs and 57 photographs of the women posing nude, following a police raid.
The women were arrested after police officers received information claiming incidents of alleged child abuse at their house in Marlborough, Harare. Gumbura is serving a 40-year effective jail term for rape.