Kereke threatens Daily News with $45m lawsuit

HARARE - Munyaradzi Kereke, the former advisor to Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono yesterday threatened to sue the Daily News for $45 million for publishing stories about allegations of rape levelled against him by a 13-year-old girl two years ago.

In the letter from his lawyers, Gasa Nyamadzawo and Associates, Kereke said the articles were wrongful, false and defamatory in nature.

The lawyers claim Kereke is a straightforward man.

“As a father himself, a businessman and a church goer, the (sic) Dr Munyaradzi Kereke has suffered irreparable damage which has also seriously undermined his relations with his own family, fellow church members, business associates, friends and relatives as he is being branded a gun-toting violent rapist all of which is being said out of callous malice.”

Kereke is objecting to the reports that emerged in the top daily newspaper and its sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday following a petition lodged with police chief Augustine Chihuri and Attorney General Johannes Tomana by the girl’s lawyer Charles Warara.

Kereke denies the charges and said police were satisfied that there was no case against him.

“Our client demands that you must retract your damaging wrongful statements and apologise publicly or alternatively pay the assessed damages to the tune of US$45 million within the next 7 working days,” the letter says.

“Our client Dr Munyaradzi Kereke submits that in the event you do not retract your defamatory statements and apologise or alternatively settle the claimed damages, summons will be issued against you then you (sic), the newspapers and others must produce before the honourable court all the evidence you publicly claimed exists to support your reported repeated public defamatory statements."

“To the ordinary public readers, your newspaper article gives the impression that our client is a gun torting (sic) rapist who is untouchable, above the law, corrupt and have (sic) no regard for the law,” the letter from the lawyer reads.

A company spokesperson expressed surprise that Kereke wanted to sue on a clear simple matter taken from documents written by lawyers to the Attorney General and to the police.

He said the Daily News never accused Kereke of raping the girl but was reporting what was coming from documents written by lawyers, the Attorney General’s Office and the police.

“However, we want to assure our readers that the Daily News will defend the action when it is launched,” said the company spokesperson.

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