KEREKE SEEKS FRESH APPEAL | Former Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke on Tuesday applied for an adjustment of his grounds for appeal in the case in which he is challenging his conviction for raping a juvenile girl.
The politician is serving a 10-year jail term for raping his then 11-year-old niece at gunpoint. Through his lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Kereke sought to fine-tune his grounds of appeal. But Justice Charles Hungwe, sitting with Justice Edith Mushore, was of the view that the application should have been served on the trial magistrate for him to comment on the proposed changes to the grounds for appeal before approaching the higher court.
This prompted Adv Mpofu to request the court to remove the matter from the roll for the defence to follow the fresh process. Adv Mpofu is arguing that the evidence linking Kereke to the rape was dubious and appeared to border on fantasy. He argued that the trial magistrate erred in convicting Kereke when the evidence against him was fragile and riddled with serious contradictions.
Private prosecutor Mr Charles Warara is opposing the appeal, arguing that the trial court conducted itself well and properly convicted Kereke. Mr Warara wants the court to dismiss the appeal, arguing that it is devoid of merit. In his judgement, the trial magistrate, Mr Noel Mupeiwa, found the fact that the victim was a minor when she was raped.
He took the age of the girl into account and that a gun was used in committing the offence. It was also noted that Kereke was related to the victim.
Kereke has unsuccessfully sought bail pending appeal twice at the High Court.