Former Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke (Zanu PF) has approached the High Court challenging his conviction and 14-year-jail term for raping his then 11-year-old niece.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
In challenging the conviction, Kereke’s lawyers, led by Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, proposed that if the application fails, the former MP should be sentenced to 24 months of which 16 months is suspended for four years on condition of good behaviour and eight months’ imprisonment without an option of a fine.
Hashiti argued the court only relied on the evidence and conclusions that the two-month delay in making a police report was justifiable and did not detract from the credibility of the complainant.
He further said the court did not consider the inconsistencies in the complainant’s testimony and that evidence could not be faltered on her since she was 11 years old.
Advocate Hashiti said presiding magistrate Noel Mupeiwa misdirected himself in convicting Kereke as the ex-MP did not have sexual intercourse with the complainant and no evidence to support such propositions beyond reasonable doubt was led.
He said the medical affidavit produced as evidence did not directly or indirectly suggest that Kereke had been involved in any way in the commission of the offence.
Hashiti argued that the magistrate erred in disregarding the direct evidence to the effect that the examining doctor was neither on duty nor available on the day in question
He further said Parirenyatwa Hospital failed to produce a duplicate or original of the medical affidavit or any other evidence proving the document was done at health institution.
Hashiti said the magistrate misdirected in sentencing Kereke to 14 years as such sentence was manifestly excessive on an allegation of a single count and a single occurrence of rape.
Hashiti proposed that Kereke, who was given a 10-year effective jail sentence, should be sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment of which 16 months is suspended for four years on condition of good behaviour and eight months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine.
According to the State, on August 22 in 2010, the young girl was asked to babysit by Kereke’s wife. She went to her aunt’s bedroom where the baby was and Kereke followed her.
When the baby fell asleep, the girl sat on the couch in the bedroom and Kereke allegedly started fondling her.
It was further said Kereke pulled a gun and threatened to shoot her if she did not comply with his orders.
He then raped her once.