Kereke rape allegations

HARARE - The attorney for a 13-year-old girl who says she was raped by Munyaradzi Kereke the former advisor to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono two years ago, has petitioned the police chief to act on the alleged sexual assault demanding justice and protection.

Kereke is a board member of Zimpapers and founder of Rock Foundation Family Trust who also own Rock Foundation Hospital.

Charles Warara, the attorney for the rape victim who cannot be named because she is a minor, wrote to police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri last week, asking him to put reasons in writing why Kereke has not been apprehended over the alleged rape.

Warara feels Kereke is too powerful and connected to senior police officials who are reportedly protecting him.

In an impassioned plea, the girl says she has endured anguish and wanted to get justice for the rape that left her bruised and her spirit broken.

She alleges Kereke brutally sexually assaulted her at gunpoint while she was only 11, and held her down while it continued.

It is just the latest attempt by the girl’s lawyer to find justice after earlier attempts to bring a private prosecutor were allegedly rejected by Attorney General (AG) Johannes Tomana.

The top Zimbabwe prosecutor’s refusal to prosecute the case has brought into sharp focus the current debate in the constitutional talks about the attorney general’s powers.

Women rights groups like the powerful Girl Child Network has fiercely protested on the issue but the AG’s office has not moved.

Two years on, the victim is still fighting.

The lawyer wrote to Tomana on January 27, 2012, seeking a heads-up in prosecution progress in the case, which was reported to Highlands Police Station on October 30, 2010.

The private prosecution route has so far failed to commit Kereke for trial, amid reports the AG has not issued the certificate of Nolle Prosequi, in other words, he has declined to prosecute.

Section 16 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act empowers the AG to use his wide discretionary powers to decline to prosecute some cases.

The case has again called into question the police and AG office’s judgment and code of practice in sexual assault cases involving the powerful and politically-connected.

Legal experts have said Kereke must face the courts and if he is innocent as he claims, the judiciary system will clear him.

Warara in his letter to Chihuri explicitly states that Attorney General’s office seems reluctant to take the alleged sex offender to court.

“Reference is made to the above matter in which we are advised that the attorney general has declined to prosecute the above matter,” Warara says in his August 15, 2012 letter to Chihuri.

“We wish to receive from your esteemed office a written confirmation of this position since the writer was directed by Borrowdale Police to contact your office in respect of this decision.”

Warara states in his correspondence to Chihuri that he was flabbergasted that the AG has declined to prosecute “when there is damaging evidence of the rape case.”

“Will you as soon as possible advise since the attorney general’s office has ignored several of our letters on this issue,” Warara wrote to Chihuri.

Tomana declined to comment whether he was indeed declining to prosecute Kereke.

“Why do you want me to comment on a petition that doesn’t apply to me?” Tomana asked the Daily News on Sunday.

But Warara wrote to Tomana on December 5, 2011, expressing exasperation at the AG’s failure to prosecute the case. Tomana referred further questions to police.

Chief police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said: “I can’t confirm if it (the petition) has reached the commissioner-general at this point.”

Warara also wrote to the Attorney General on January 27, 2012.

In his letter to Tomana, the girl’s lawyer wrote: “We think that you have a public duty to ensure that the public retain confidence in the administration of justice.

“Since we started handling this matter, we have been wondering why we will be required to do all this work, which you obviously are obliged by the constitution to supervise. Can you simply reply to us so that we can know what to advise our client?”

Warara states in his letter that this was an extremely serious rape and that the law must be allowed to take its course.

“If you do not wish to proceed with the prosecution of this matter, please advice us without delay and your reasons will help. We will also request that you give us your refusal to prosecute the matter so that we can proceed with private prosecution,” the letter says.

On July 20, 2012, the girl’s lawyer again wrote to the Attorney General questioning the apparent confusion surrounding the matter in refusing to prosecute.

The letter partly reads: “We wish to enquire on the status of the above mentioned matter as we received correspondence from the officer in charge at the Zimbabwe Republic Police Borrowdale informing that the docket was forwarded to your offices.

“We have been waiting for your advice since January to enable us to appraise client on status of the matter. In the event that are not in a position to prosecute this matter, we kindly request that you furnish us with a certificate to the effect that you are declining to prosecute to enable our client to proceed by way of private prosecution in terms of Part 3 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07) at your earliest convenience.”

The raped girl’s lawyer wanted written confirmation from Chihuri to support an application to be lodged in the High Court to compel the AG to state why he is not doing his constitutional duty to prosecute Kereke.
“What is unclear is at this stage is how the Attorney General came into a case that was not before the court and declined to prosecute it when there is damaging evidence of the rape case.”

Details emerging from a paper trail seen by the Daily News on Sunday, show that the case was first reported to the Highlands Police Station on October 30, 2010 and the case was forwarded to officer-in-charge of the Borrowdale Police Station, chief inspector Mbiringa.

In correspondence from the girl’s lawyers, Warara & Associates, “nothing was done to effect arrest of the accused and no explanation is forthcoming why the accused remains uncharged to this day.”

According to the girl’s lawyer, sometime in September 2010 during school holidays, the girl visited Kereke’s residence in Vainona — an affluent suburb in the capital Harare.

The girl is related to Kereke; he is an uncle who is married to the victim’s aunt.

The girl was reportedly asked by her aunt to play with Kereke’s baby in the bedroom while she prepared food for the former advisor to the central bank governor.

“It appears during this time, the accused entered the bedroom and raped the victim once at gunpoint and threatened her not to report,” the girl’s lawyer says in a letter to the Chief Ins Mbiringa dated 17 December 2010.

Warara in his letter to chief inspector Mbiringa emphasises that he was writing the letter “with full knowledge that the accused has proved to be an untouchable person and can victimise anyone who dares take up this matter.”

Part of the letter further reads: “We have done this because we firmly believe in justice and want to see to it that the weak are protected. We are aware that you have been giving reasons for not doing anything about this matter but we know that you have been stopped in your tracks because of the influence of the accused."

“You already know that the accused is armed and can do anything in the circumstances, but you have done nothing about such danger to society. We need not remind you that it is your duty to protect the victim should anything befall anyone involved with this case because of your failure to act.”

Reached for comment on the latest action against him, Kereke said: “As a parent of girl children, I totally agree that rapists belong behind bars, away from the reach of those that they can harm. On this futile instance of callous malice which is being recycled by sponsored guns, the police fully followed procedure and discovered for themselves that some people hoped to make money using minor children as arrowheads of blackmail,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.

“It is not how justice works that fully investigated false reports are taken to court just for the sake of soiling innocent people’s images. Fortunately the masterminds behind this silly project are known.”

But the girl’s lawyer Warara said this was a quintessential case of “justice delayed is justice denied”, and that “the inordinate and unexplained delay in this matter being taken to court in the normal way has emboldened the accused to make threats of this nature,” he said referring to Kereke’s threats to sue the legal firm for defamation."

Chief Inspector Mbiringa first advised in a January 13, 2011 letter to the girl’s lawyers that police were probing the matter.

“Please be appraised that the matter between your client and Dr. M Kereke is under investigations and will be forwarded to the Attorney General,” the Borrowdale police chief’s letter said.

Warara has written to Mbiringa advising him he was aware that his hands were tied in this matter.

Kereke has also been involved in an endless mudslinging with Gono, his former boss which began when he parted ways with the RBZ early this year.

An official from a women rights group yesterday said: “The case raises questions about how many alleged rape cases go unreported out there if reported cases are never brought before courts or take long to conclude.”

Kereke rape allegation

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.