BIKITA West MP Munyaradzi Kereke’s private prosecution trial on rape and indecent assault charges opened at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday with the legislator claiming he was being framed by his political and business rivals.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Kereke made the claims when he appeared before regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa charged with raping and indecently assaulting his two minor nieces sometime in 2010.
He is being represented by James Makiya and Nathan Chigoro, while Harare lawyer Charles Warara is prosecuting the matter.
According to the prosecution, on a date unknown, but sometime in March 2010, Kereke allegedly indecently assaulted his 15-year-old niece by fondling her breasts and kissing her without her consent.
In the second count, Kereke is again alleged to have raped his other niece aged 11 years at gunpoint, while at his Vainona house in Harare on a date unknown to the prosecution, but sometime in August 2010.
When the offences were allegedly committed, the two girls, who are sisters, were staying with their paternal grandfather Francis Maramwidze as their parents were resident in the United Kingdom and United States respectively.
In his defence, Kereke said: “The allegations are malicious, unfounded and extortion and these have since been hijacked by political and business enemies.
“On count one, I was not in the country at the time, and on count two, I was not at home at the time, but at my medical business at Rock Foundation Medical Centre.”
The 15-year-old complainant told the court Kereke was in the habit of caressing them whenever they visited his Vainona house even in the presence of his wife, who is an aunt to them.
She also told the court that on the day in question, Kereke took advantage of her aunt’s absence, as she had gone to the shops to buy groceries, to indecently assault her.
“He called me from outside where I was fetching water from the pool and when I went to him, he pulled me into the house, kissing me on the mouth. He started fondling my breasts and continued kissing me,” she said.
She added that she screamed, but no one came to her rescue.
She further told the court she was shocked and confused about what had transpired to the extent that she did not share her ordeal with anyone.
The girl said she only opened up after her younger sister revealed the alleged rape to their other aunt who stayed in Avondale, Harare, and that then led to the reporting of the case to the police.
The court dismissed Kereke’s four applications that sought to stop proceedings, objection to the production of a telephone communication record, expunging of some material from the record and to have both defence counsels cross-examine the witness.
The trial continues today.