via Kereke rape case: MP says not guilty – NewZimbabwe 10/01/2016
THE long waited rape trial of Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke opened Monday with the legislator denying the charges, arguing that the allegations were a mere fabrication meant to tarnish his political and business image.
Kereke’s trial, the first high profile private prosecution case in years, comes after then AttorneyGeneral Johannes Tomana had for the past five years, declined to prosecute the case arguing evidence was insufficient.
The Zanu MP was charged with two counts of indecent assault and rape when he appeared before magistrate Noel Mupeiwa.
Prosecutors allege that sometime in March 2010 he fondled the breasts of his niece who was 15 and also raped the girl’s younger sister three months later.
The parents of the victims reside in America and United Kingdom respectively and the court heard the girls were staying with their grandparents.
The court heard that the elder girl kept the secret and only revealed the abuse after her sister told her that she had been raped by Kereke.
Kereke was represented by his lawyers, James Makiya and Nathaniel Chigoro.
Charles Warara is the private prosecutor.
Kereke argued that the complainants took too long to report because they were being used by politicians to craft a case against him.
“The delay in reporting the alleged offences and the glaring inconsistences in the complainant’s statements exhibit fabrication and coaching. The allegations are malicious, unfounded and extortionist to the extent the complainant’s guardian in his belief that the accused is rich sought to have the accused assume the obligation of paying the girl’s tuitions,” Makiya said.
However, when the elder girl was led by Warara and cross examined by Makiya, she was calm and consistent.
The girl told the court that she has no any relative who is a politician, adding that she doesn’t even understand politics.
She also told the court that she could not have asked for any money from Kereke as her parents provided everything she needed.
The MP also argued that his mother and wife were at home when the offence is alleged to have occurred so there was no way he could have raped someone without being heard or noticed.
Kereke told the court that in March 2010 he was in the States and when the second incident allegedly occurred he was at his medical institution, Rock Foundation.
The state then produced a transcript of messages and calls in which he allegedly pleaded with the younger girl and her guardian to drop the charges.
However Kereke’s defence disputed the evidence arguing that the transcript does not show the complainant’s own texts to his wife.
Makiya said it was meant to deliberately portray a wrong version of events.
“The call history does not relate to the relevant times the offence is alleged to have been committed.
The court heard that on an unknown date but in March 2010 the elder niece was at her aunt’s place, Kereke’s house.
The court heard that Kereke then sent his wife to buy him some beer at the local shops while he remained behind with the girl.
The court heard that he then called the girl and when she entered the lounge he allegedly grabbed her and kissed her before pushing her to a couch.
Kereke then went on top of the girl while fondling her breasts.
While on top of her, he tried to undo his trousers but the complainant screamed. After the scream they heard the front door being opened and Kereke jumped off and walked towards his bedroom.
On August 20, Kereke’s younger niece was at his place.
Kereke’s wife asked the girl to baby sit while she prepared food for her husband.
The girl went to Kereke’s bedroom where the child was and she put the baby to sleep and sat on the couch which was in the room.
The court heard that Kereke then entered the room and started fondling the girl’s breasts while kissing her.
Kereke went on to order the girl to comply and produced a pistol with which he threatened.
The girl tried to resist but was overpowered and was eventually raped once. During the act, they heard some footsteps and Kereke stopped.
However no one entered the room and Kereke tried to continue but the girl pushed him away, the court heard.
Later in the day, the girl told her sister of the incident.
The following months the girl told one Ndanatsei Maramwidze that Kereke made some sexual advances to her and in turn, Ndanatsei informed the girl’s grandparents.
The trial continues Tuesday and seven more witnesses will testify against the legislator.