WASHINGTON DC —
The trial of former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe adviser and Zanu PF legislator, Munyaradzi Kereke, who is accused of raping his two nieces about six years ago continued Thursday with the prosecution centered on the gun used in the alleged commissioning of the crime.
Kereke is accused of raping his then 11-year-old niece and fondling the breasts of the other, then 15, all of them at gunpoint.
Kereke is denying the charges saying the gun in question, a property of the central bank, had already been returned to the bank during the alleged assault.
Kereke had been issued with the revolver after he alleged that there were people threatening his life. He reportedly took it back after saying the threats were no longer apparent.
However, appearing before private prosecutor, Charles Warara, head of RBZ security, Gracium Muradzikwa, said his superior, one Mirirai Chiremba, approached him sometime in 2010 asking if he could take the gun and back-date it in his records so that it would appear like it had been surrendered at an earlier date.
Muradzikwa told the court that he refused to take the gun which Chiremba wanted to smuggle back into the bank’s security division.
The case against Kereke is that sometime in March 2010 he fondled the breasts of his niece who was 15. He is also accused of raping the girl’s younger sister three months later.
The parents of the victims reside in America and United Kingdom respectively and the court heard the girls were staying with their grandparents when the alleged incidents occurred.
Kereke is represented by James Makiya and Nathan Chigoro after firing his previous lawyers, James Makiya and Nathan Chigoro for reason not yet explained.
After continuously refusing to allow the case to go for private prsecution, Prosecutor General , Johannes Tomana, was in October taken to court and the judge slapped him with a 30-day imprisonment for contempt of court if he did not issue certificates of private prosecution for the case including two others involving, Telecel Zimbabwe and a Harare man Francis Maramwidze.
For analysis Studio 7 asked legal commentator, Kucaca Phulu, if the delay in prosecuting the case may go in the accused’s favor.
“In such a matter, it is open to the accused person in conducting his defense to request that the matter be referred to the Constitutional Court because he will allege that there has been an undue delay in the prosecution of the case and it is prejudicing him in a number of ways.”
Phulu said at the Constitutional Court Kereke can succeed if the state is able to justify the delay, adding the the accused person’s rights cannot be breached by the state because Tomana represents the state and is the one who delayed the prosecution of the case.”