Jailed Robert Martin Gumbura Friday graduated with a certificate in Peace Education. Gumbura was, however, awarded the certificate in absentia since he was attending a routine court appearance on fresh charges that arose during his incarceration.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service Deputy Commissioner-General Social Ndanga said the detention was not a barrier. Added Ndanga:
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_Today’s graduation comprised 18 inmates and two officers who commenced their training lessons in February when the programme was launched._
_Among the graduands, there are prisoners under a death sentence and this is a clear testimony that being behind bars is not the end of the world hence I encourage other inmates to follow suit and take advantage of such opportunities._
_The decision to start with Chikurubi Maximum Prison was reached upon realisation of the nature of inmates that are kept here and also it was noted that indoor rehabilitation activities are minimal._
_The Peace Education Program (PEP) was also introduced at Ntabazinduna training school during the same month targeting recruited correctional officers who are undergoing training with the view of equipping them with the requisite skills in the reformation and transformation drive._
_We have adopted PEP as a psychosocial support, moral rehabilitation and behavioural change programme which facilitates change through supporting inmates to understand personal peace and become aware of inner resources essential for behavioural transformation._
He said the program instantly produced positive results especially on the group of inmates regarded as dangerous by society but had the courage to embark on a journey of individual self-discovery.
Gumbura, 63, was convicted on four counts of rape in 2014 and one of possession of pornography and was sentenced to 50 years for rape but 10 years were conditionally suspended.
The polygamous RMG Independent End Time Message preacher appealed against the remaining effective 40 years and High Court judges Charles Hungwe and Edith Mushore, replaced the sentence with 25 years, five of which were suspended for good behaviour.
Gumbura’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said his client has served about half of the 20 years, already, “so considering how the authorities count the years, he’s left with about five years and will be out of jail.”
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