HIGH Court judge Justice Happious Zhou yesterday ordered the private prosecution of Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke over allegations of raping a minor four years ago.
In a judgment delivered in Motion Court, Justice Zhou ordered Prosecutor-General (PG) Johannes Tomana to issue a certificate of private prosecution to the girl’s guardian, Francis Maramwidze.
Maramwidze had filed an application with the High Court after Tomana declined to prosecute Kereke for lack of evidence.
Speaking after the judgment, Maramwidze’s lawyer, Charles Warara, said they were now waiting for the PG to avail the certificate of private prosecution.
“We will have to proceed in terms of the directive of the High Court, obviously taking into consideration what the Prosecutor-General will do.
The order is specifically for him to issue a certificate for the applicant in this case to proceed to prosecute on a private basis,” Warara said.
“So what that means is that we just have to wait for the response from the PG. Once they avail the certificate, then we proceed in terms of the law.”
Kereke, who is the former adviser to ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, is accused of sexually abusing his then 11-year-old relative’s daughter at gunpoint in October 2010.
The matter at the time was reported to police, who referred the
docket to the then Attorney-General’s Office, where prosecution was declined.
In his application before Justice Zhou, Maramwidze claimed to have lost faith in the country’s judicial system owing to the failure by the prosecuting authority to bring Kereke before the court for prosecution.
“When I made a report to the police, a docket was opened under CR02/10/10,” Maramwidze said.
“I then took the girl to the hospital for medical examination. Following this, the police were expected to take the case a step further by effecting an arrest, [but] that was not done and he [Kereke] was not even called to the police station.”
Maramwidze further claimed all his efforts to have Kereke interrogated over the rape allegations met stiff resistance from the law enforcement agents who were allegedly connected to him being an “influential” person.
“I made further reports to ZRP [Zimbabwe Republic Police] about his frequent visits and threats and the police advised me not to entertain him. They even told me to be very careful with the children as well as my wife since he [Kereke] was well connected to ZRP and CID officers who were protecting him and who could harm me,” he said.
Maramwidze said at one point, he held a meeting with one Police Senior Assistant Commissioner at Creda Court in Harare who allegedly admitted that they had failed in carrying out their mandate.
“When I asked him about the police charter and what it states on rape cases, he categorically admitted that the ZRP had failed in its duty to bring this case before the courts of law as well as failed to put the accused in custody or even arrest him because he was influential,” Maramwidze said.