incarcerated ex-ZANU PF legislator Munyaradzi Kereke Out On Bail
Newly appointed Supreme Court judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera yesterday upheld former Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke’s appeal against both conviction and sentence.
Justice Mwayera granted Kereke $500 000 bail pending his appeal at the High Court which had dismissed his earlier freedom bid in its entirety.
He was also ordered to surrender title deeds to two of his most priced properties as surety for his bail conditions.
The former Reserve Bank adviser was in 2016 sentenced to 10 years imprisonment over raping his then 11-year-old relative at gunpoint.
According to court documents, the incidents surrounding Kereke’s imprisonment took place on August 22 in 2010 when his niece (the complainant) had visited his Vainona place of residence.
However, Kereke submitted during his criminal proceedings a different alibi claiming he was at his other house in Mandara with his brother Cletos.
In putting his defense through his lawyers, Kereke argued that the niece involved was coached by her grandparents after he refused to pay her school fees.
“The applicant claimed that the complainant’s grandparents were trying to extort him for his refusal to pay the complainants’ school fees.
“The second defense witness, Patience Muswapadare Taruvinga, Kereke’s wife, testified that complainant’s testimony was untruthful.
There was no consistency on the issue of the gun, the time the offence was committed and the reason why the complainant did not report the issue to the trusted adults at the first available opportunity.
“The court a quo erred and misdirected itself in failing to, in totality, find that the inconsistencies in the prosecution’s version of events as well as the improbability of the same cast significant doubt on the truthfulness of the complainant’s allegations,” reads the judge’s finding. Kereke also claimed he was politically targeted during that period.
“The third witness, Alphios Njodzi Chinhano, pointed to friction between Kereke and Francis Mwaramwidze because of political ambition.
“Gideon Gono and his counterparts wanted to silence him against revealing their fraudulent activities and also that there were political machinations against him by Webster Shamu and others,” continued the finding.
Prosecutions had dismissed Kereke’s defense saying the trial court properly assessed complainant’s evidence and found that her detailed account of the rape and her voluntary report, which was corroborated by Dr Chanakira’s medical report met the threshold for proof beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge said there is a possibility that Kereke’s alibi might be true.
“This is an aspect where the applicant might have prospects of success.
“However whether or not the success of his argument on this specific aspect will have the effect of upsetting his conviction is a matter that I am inclined to leave for determination by the Supreme Court.
“I am loathe to pronounce it as a single judge in chambers.
“For that reason alone I am inclined to grant the applicant the relief that he seeks so that the Supreme Court determines the impact, if any, of this particular aspect of his argument, on the propriety of his conviction,” ruled Justice Mwayera.
He added; “Accordingly I make the following order the applicant is granted leave to appeal against the decision of the High Court under judgment HH 374/19, to the Supreme Court.”
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