Rapist cleric Robert Martin Gumbura on Wednesday had his jail sentence on four counts of rape reduced, but his legal team claims it was not enough and is now seeking to approach the Supreme Court on appeal.

Gumbura (63) was jailed effective 40 years following his conviction on four counts of rape and one count of illegally possessing pornographic material in 2014, but argued on appeal that the imprisonment term was patently disproportionate.

The High Court, sitting as an Appeals Court, agreed to reduce the sentence by half, finding that the trial court decision was a bit outrageous and unjust.

The defence team comprising Professor Lovemore Madhuku and Advocate Sylvester Hashiti had moved the court to reduce the jail term to 10 years on each count of rape and the counts to run concurrently, so that Gumbura would serve 10 years, which he has already served in terms of the law.

But Justice Felistus Chatukuta sitting with Justice Pisirayi Kwenda after hearing submissions from both the defence and prosecution counsel reduced the sentence to 25 years, of which five years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

This now leaves Gumbura with a 20-year jail term, with half of that sentence already served taking into account one-third remission.

state media