via Kereke case: Lawyers wait for prosecution certificate – The Standard May 18, 2014 by Phyllis Mbanje
Lawyers representing a 15-year-old girl who is accusing Bikita West legislator, Munyaradzi Kereke of raping her four years ago, say they expect Prosecutor-General, Johannes Tomana to issue them with a certificate to prosecute the former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe senior employee.
Charles Warara of Warara and Warara law firm said following last week’s High Court ruling granting the girl’s legal guardian permission to prosecute Kereke privately, they now expect the certificate to be issued within the next two weeks.
“We fervently wait for the certificate to be issued within the expected time fame and then move ahead. This case has taken too long but we are satisfied with the ruling,” said Warara.
Analysts said Kereke might soon face allegations of sexually abusing a minor following the landmark ruling which allowed private prosecution to take place.
Fours year on, the family of the girl, who is now 15, might actually get redemption as Kereke will finally have his day in court once Tomana issues a certificate of private prosecution.
The victim’s guardian, Francis Maramwidze, claimed that Kereke tried on numerous occasions to persuade the complainant to drop the case of the alleged rape which occurred in October 2009 but he pursued all legal channels to ensure it was heard.
His relentless efforts have finally paid off and once the certificate is granted, the course of justice will take its course.
However, it may not be time to celebrate as Kereke has through his legal representative filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court arguing the High court erred in its ruling.
The case which was highly publicised when it broke in 2010 had been shelved after Tomana refused to prosecute, saying there was inadequate evidence to warrant a hearing.
However, on Wednesday last week Justice Happius Zhou upheld to an application by Maramwidze and ordered the PG to grant a certificate of private prosecution.
The former advisor to the ex-Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono is being accused of raping a then 11-year-old relative at gun point at his residence in Vainona.
According to Maramwidze, efforts to get the police to pursue the matter repeatedly hit the wall and Kereke was never brought in for questioning, raising the ire of human rights groups and activists.
Highlands Police Station recorded statements from the victim on November 1 2010. The girl said the incident happened on August 22 around 3am.
Following the alleged rape, the girl informed her elder sister and aunt. A medical report by Dr E T Chanakira at Parirenyatwa on November 1 2010 indicated that the minor had been sexually molested.
The girl whose parents are reportedly divorced and domiciled in the UK and USA, refused to go school for three months after the incident. She was said to be so traumatised by the incident that she would not leave the house unaccompanied.
Warara wrote several letters to the Officer-in-Charge of Borrowdale Police Station imploring him to look into the case.
Some of the letters were copied to the Attorney General’s Office and Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) addressed to Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri.
Excerpts of the letters indicated that the AG had been advised of the matter and the fear of victimisation of those involved since Kereke “was armed”.
Warara pleaded with AG to protect the victim and her witnesses in the interest of justice and to also attend to the case.
In another letter dated January 13 2011, to the officer in charge of Borrowdale Police Station, Warara expressed similar concerns over the lack of interest by the police to take the matter further.
“We note with concern that you do not seem to want to take any action in this matter and we are by copy of this letter requesting the Attorney General to advise us if nothing will be done so that we can apply for a right to do private prosecution if the Attorney General declines to prosecute the rape case,” he said in another letter also, copied to the AG’s office.
Responding to this letter, the officer-in-charge at ZRP Borrowdale said the matter was investigated and the docket was at the AG’s office.
However, Kereke vehemently denied the charges which he said were “trumped up”. He also threatened The Standard newspaper for reporting about the case in November 2011.
Harare West legislator and gender activist, Jessie Majome said while she welcomed the ruling, she was convinced that the PG’s department was incompetent and out to protect those who were politically “well-heeled”.
Majome, who has been very vocal about cases of abuse and rape, said the attitude of the PG was not in the interest of the public.
“It is victory for justice but the PG is abusing his prerogative and using it to protect those who are politically well-linked,” she said.
Majome accused the PG of sitting on several hundreds of cases of women who were raped during the run-off elections of 2008. Tomana could not be reached for comment yesterday.