By Nkosana Dlamini
Late jailbird Robert Martin Gumbura’s large family may not get the opportunity to bury the polygamous cleric as a unit after police and government have maintained all funerals shall be attended by a maximum of 30 mourners.
Gumbura succumbed to Covid-19 Saturday while serving his 40-year jail term for four counts of rape at Chikurumbi Maximum Prison.
The late RMG Independent End Time Message founder is believed to have had over 20 wives and over 36 children.
Gumbura also has siblings and other close relatives outside his immediate family who may also be keen on burying him.
But the continued existence of Covid-19 containment measures by government is set to scuttle the family’s wishes to bury the shamed preacher as a single unit.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told Zimstar News Sunday the limit on the number of mourners attending funerals remained in force and it was up to the health authorities to prescribe any waiver should there be any need to.
“Remember, all the health guidelines and protocols are guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care…ours as the police is to enforce the law and ensure that all the guidelines pronounced by the government are complied with,” he said.
Chief coordinator of the country’s response to Covid-19, Agnes Mahomva also maintained the government stance on gatherings remained in force.
“The Statutory Instrument is plain. It does not give exemptions. It’s not different for different people.
“The existing Statutory Instrument says 30 people for any funeral. That is what we know. That’s what the SI says. I don’t know of any that has changed that number,” she said.
The burial arrangements of the late preacher had not yet been known to the public by the time of publishing this story while attempts to seek comment on how the family intended to constitute the burial party also drew blanks.