There was drama at the Master of the High Court’s offices when relatives of the late rapist and polygamist, Robert Martin Gumbura, clashed with his 17 wives over inheritance matters.
Gumbura’s relatives and his 17 widows clashed over the appointment of the executor of his estate.
In August, Robert Martin Gumbura, the former leader of the RGM End Time Message church, died after succumbing to Covid-19 related complications.
At the time of his death, he was serving a 40-year jail sentence (later reduced to 20 after an appeal) at the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison for multiple counts of rape.
He was survived by 17 wives and 34 children.
At an edict meeting at the Master of the High Court’s offices, the 17 wives clashed with Gumbura’s brothers and sisters over the selection of an executor of the estate.
An executor is responsible for identifying and collecting the assets of the estate, the safeguarding and investing of those assets pending distribution to beneficiaries, the payment of debts and liabilities owed by the estate, the filing of appropriate tax returns for the deceased and the estate, and ultimately the distribution of assets to beneficiaries under the provisions of the will or the law.
Gumbura’s relatives wanted his brother Innocent to be appointed executor. However, the wives all banded together and resisted the imposition.
Instead, the 17 widows selected Gumbura’s nephew Chivimbiso Thomas Nyathi to be the executor of the will.
Lawyer Lovemore Madhuku, who is representing the widows, told online publication Zimlive:
“All the wives chose his nephew Chivimbiso Thomas Nyathi but other relatives were totally against it. They wanted Gumbura’s brother, Innocent, to be the executor; that’s why the hearing took so long. The Master was very clear that the court has to take into account the views of potential beneficiaries.”
Gumbura’s relatives argued that Innocent is the rightful executor of the estate, as he will be playing the father role to all 34 children.
However, the Master reassured him that his role as father would not be affected by the appointment of another executor.
The late religious leader is reported to have left an estate that includes: 11 houses, 20 vehicles, a farm and a mine.