Kereke rape: Chief threatens magistrate

A CHIEF testifying to exonerate rape accused Zanu PF Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke on Tuesday threatened to take action against the presiding magistrate and private prosecutor for allegedly intimidating him.

Denies rape charges ... Munyaradzi Kereke

Denies rape charges … Munyaradzi Kereke

Kereke, a former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) senior staffer is on trial for allegedly raping his juvenile nieces.

Chief Mukanganwi, Alpheus Njodzi bristled under pressure during cross examination by the private prosecutor Charles Warara.

This was after Warara asked the chief why he supported Kereke during the last elections knowing that he had a rape case pending at the courts.

Chief Mukanganwi told the court that he was never shown the court papers so he would not have known the legislator faced rape charges.

“Don’t try to scare me, he said.

“This court must know that I’m a chief and can also rule so don’t try to intimidate me. I warn you, you are looking for trouble so stop it,” he said.

However, the presiding magistrate Noel Mupeiwa reminded him that he was in court as a witness not the other way round.

Mupeiwa told the witness that under cross examination, the private prosecutor could ask him any questions despite the fact that he was a chief.

In his testimony, Chief Mukanganwi told court that after they heard rumours that Kereke would likely not contest in 2013 elections they got worried because they felt he was the right person to represent them in parliament.

He told court that five chiefs, him included, then teamed up and organised to reach out their superiors on Kereke’s behalf.

Met former vice president Mujuru

Court heard they then met former Vice President, Joice Mujuru and other senior party officials as well as the nieces’ guardian.

Mujuru then told the chiefs that Kereke could not contest because he had a pending criminal case.

“We asked why he had not been arrested and tried and Mujuru told us that she was working with the police to ensure that Kereke was brought to book,” the chief told court.

The chief also told court that that the legislator was also accused of stealing some RBZ documents which sold.

He said they had to comply but somehow Kereke managed to contest and win the elections adding that despite the criminal charges, they were very happy about the outcome.

 

“We were very happy and we celebrated. Even up to now we are content with having him (Kereke) as our MP,” he said.

Kereke’s brother Claitos also took it to the witnesses stand. He told court that there was no way the legislator could have raped the juvenile, claiming that he was with the MP on the day and time the abuse is alleged to have taken place.

The trial continues Thursday. Kereke is accused of raping his niece at gun point in 2010 and also indecently assaulting the other niece on a different day during the same. The girls were aged 10 and 15 when the offence allegedly took place.

His case is the first to be privately prosecuted after the prosecutor general Johannes Tomana refused to prosecute him saying there was no evidence linking him to the crime.

 

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