The trial of Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke (Zanu PF) over rape and indecent assault charges will continue next month after private prosecutor Charles Warara fell ill and was admitted in hospital.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Kereke was yesterday expected to open his defence before regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa after the prosecution closed its case last month after leading seven witnesses, including the two minors who are complainants in the case.
After some haggling between the legal teams, Mupeiwa ruled that the trial should continue on April 4 and would be heard on three consecutive days.
Kereke’s lawyer Arum Mutandiro had opposed the postponement of the trial, arguing that the prosecution was delaying the trial despite the fact that the matter took five years to come to court.
Mutandiro also claimed that the delay would cost the defence more resources as they had brought some witnesses from outside Harare to testify.
However, the prosecution shot back, arguing that it was Kereke who was to blame as he spent the five years trying to avoid justice even when the courts had ruled that he should be prosecuted.
“The accused (Kereke) was trying by all means to evade these proceedings to the extent that he filed a Constitutional Court application challenging the extant judgment of Justice Happious Zhou that gave the greenlight to private prosecution,” a representative of the prosecution said.
Among those who gave evidence for the prosecution were two Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe officials — Mirirai Chiremba and Gresham Muradzikwa —who testified about the gun used during the alleged rape incident.
The investigating officer also testified as well as the medical doctor who examined the minors after the alleged abuse.