Kereke appeal still to be determined  - Zimbabwe Situation

Kereke appeal still to be determined 

Kereke appeal still to be determined 

Source: Kereke appeal still to be determined – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      25 September 2018

HARARE – The High Court is still to bring to finality jailed former Zanu
PF legislator Munyaradzi Kereke’s appeal, after he was sentenced to 14
years for rape in 2016.

Kereke is challenging both his conviction and sentence, in an appeal
before High Court judges Charles Hungwe and Neville Wamambo.

The businessman was in 2016 slapped with a 14-year-jail term after being
convicted of sexually abusing his relatives’ then 11-year old daughter at
gunpoint, but four years of his jail time were suspended on condition of
good behaviour.

The complainant’s lawyer Charles Warara yesterday told the Daily News that
they were still waiting for the outcome of the appeal.

“We are still waiting for the court’s judgment on the appeal filed by
Kereke,” he said.

Since his incarceration, the former Bikita West legislator made several
attempts, through bail applications, to seek release from prison on bail
pending appeal, but to no avail.

In February this year, Kereke again filed another bail application bid
based on changed circumstances, stating the current leadership in
government would understand that his incarceration was
politically-motivated.

His jail term was cut by three years. This is over and above confirmation
that the businessman had also been removed from D class at Chikurubi
Maximum Prison to Conmara Open Prison.

The details emerged in Kereke’s application for bail pending appeal based
on changed circumstances.

“The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has, taking into
account applicant’s (Kereke) exemplary behaviour reclassified him from the
D class and he now qualifies to be admitted to Conmara Open Prison. That
entitles him to occasionally be with his family. The conditions pertaining
to the grant of bail have accordingly drastically altered. An applicant
who is effectively entitled to serve his sentence at home is surely
entitled as well to bail pending appeal.

“The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services has further cut 40 months
of the sentence he must serve through remissions. In reality, applicant
has now directly served 18 months, 48 months were suspended on condition
of good behaviour, a further 40 months have been interfered with on
remission which leaves applicant with 38 percent of his sentence to serve.
The risk of him absconding under the circumstances has been diminished to
the point of extinction,” Kereke’s lawyers told the court.

He said the new political dispensation has an effect on his political
persecution.

“The court was also duty bound to consider the `political’ angle set up by
applicant. It was consistent with the nub of his defence and was not an
afterthought as wrongly concluded by the court,” he said.

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