Kereke rape case: Lawyer arrested

HARARE - Charles Warara, the lawyer representing a minor who claims she was raped at gunpoint by Munyaradzi Kereke a former advisor to Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, was yesterday briefly arrested.

Warara told the Daily News in an interview that he had been called to Harare Central Police Station’s Homicide section where a statement was recorded on allegations of child abuse.

“A police officer from the Homicide section called my office while I was out and asked me to get in touch with them.

“When I returned the call, I was asked to report to police with the two abused girls.

“Obviously I could not provide the girls because they are at school outside Harare.

“The police then turned around and grilled me concerning the religious meeting we held at home with the girls two years ago,” Warara said.

“These meetings are arranged by my wife. I explained to the police that I treat these two girls as my own and would never do anything to harm them,” Warara said.

The lawyer accused the police of harassment.

“This is a ploy to force me to drop the case against Munyaradzi Kereke but there is no chance of that happening. We will not be deterred. Actually our resolve has been strengthened.

“We have a strong case and believe Kereke has a prima facie case to answer and instead of the police taking that case in which a minor was abused to its logical conclusion they are trying to harass me,” declared Warara.

The lawyer opened a Pandora’s Box when he wrote to police chief Augustine Chihuri a few months ago expressing his disappointment at the delay in arresting and prosecuting Kereke.

Warara said the police’s inept investigation and tardy prosecution by the Attorney General (AG) accounted for the inability of his client to get justice.

The girls’ paternal grandparents through their lawyer James Makiya hit back,  lodging a 14-page complaint with the Law Society of Zimbabwe accusing Warara of ulterior motives and abusing the children instead.
They allege that Warara also abused the girl.

They claim that between August 18 and 23, 2010, one of the two girls allegedly went to Warara for a praying camp in Glen Forest.

Apparently the two abused girls were under surveillance as every move they made was monitored while  communication from their mobile phones, was bugged.

The children’s paternal grandparents produced the phone records and evidence that the girls were being trailed.

Warara charges that the grandparents would never have known anything.

“They live in Murehwa and have no idea of how to obtain phone records. We know where that is coming from,” he said.

Makiya yesterday, confirmed he had raised the complaint with the LSZ but on behalf of the children’s paternal grandparents.

“I can confirm that we raised a complaint with the Low Society but the police action you are talking about was a result of a complaint from the LSZ. They are the ones who forwarded the information to the AG,” Makiya said.

However, his version of events was disputed by LSZ’s executive secretary Edward Mapara.

“The AG has never communicated with LSZ, Makiya should tell you the contents of our reply. We have not raised a complaint for the investigation of Warara,” Mapara told the Daily News.

The case of the rape of the 11-year-old girl (now 13) two years ago received attention from human rights bodies such as Girl Child Network.

Efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless at the time of going to press.

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