Kereke playing politics: Zacc

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (Zacc) has accused Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke of playing politics in his constitutional application seeking to force the anti-graft body to probe his former boss Gideon Gono over alleged corruption.

In the constitutional application filed last month at the Mashonganyika Building, Kereke cited Zacc as the first respondent while Gono is cited as the second respondent.

The maverick economist argued the failure by Zacc to investigate allegations of abuse of office, corruption and theft was unconstitutional, adding the commission has an obligation to receive and consider complaints from the public.

But in its answering affidavit, Zacc, represented by the Attorney General’s office, said Kereke’s case should be dismissed with costs.

Zacc argued that it “executed its mandate within the confines of the law.”

“First respondent (Zacc) will continue to execute its mandate within the confines of the law and without interference from anyone” Zacc’s chairperson Denford Chirindo, said.

“There is therefore no justification for the applicant to call upon this honourable Constitutional Court to order, direct or control the first respondent to execute its constitutional mandate.

Applicant (Kereke) acknowledges that it is absurd for the first respondent (Zacc) to investigate itself, its staff and second respondent (Gono).

In essence applicant acknowledges that it is absurd for first respondent to conduct the investigations because he/she is compromised and lacks capacity, but at the same time, applicant is asking the court to give an absurd order to do that which is absurd for the first respondent (Zacc).

“It is therefore abundantly clear that the first respondent is unquestionably executing his/her mandate within the confines of the law whilst applicant is playing politics.”

Zacc said the time frame sought by Kereke was impossible since investigations by nature were subject to processes, which must not be interfered with by anyone.

Kereke had attached a letter to his ConCourt application that he wrote to the commission in 2012, in which he chronicled some of the alleged corrupt activities by Gono between the year 2006 and 2009.

“Applicant’s appeal to this honourable court is not just an invitation to violate the constitutional provisions guaranteeing the independence of the first respondent (Zacc) but it is also an invitation to the court to join him in playing politics,” Chirindo said.

The former advisor to the central bank also alleged that Gono bribed officials from Zacc saying huge amounts of money were moved from the central bank to the commission.

But according to Zacc, it was Kereke not Gono, “who on behalf of the RBZ made an undertaking” to give Zacc $5 million for the purchase of houses, 56 motor vehicles and $150 000 for computers and other office logistical support. Zacc said the things that Kereke undertook to give to Zacc were not accounted for.

“First respondent in its letter dated 30 September 2013 addressed to the commissioner-general of police, requested for investigations into the $5.5 million,” Chirindo said.

“It is therefore naive for the applicant to allege that the first respondent did nothing to investigate the reported allegations.”

Meanwhile, Kereke is to file a supplementary affidavit, opposing an application seeking his prosecution for raping an 11-year-old relative.

Kereke, who is represented by Lewis Uriri instructed by James Makiya, told the court that he wanted to make further submissions.

His case is expected back in court today, where parties are to agree on when the submissions will be made and the possible date when they will be ready to resume with the case.

Kereke is fighting off his prosecution, following an application by the girl’s guardian Francis Maramwidze, seeking an order compelling the courts to prosecute the businessman.

In a bid to stop his prosecution, Kereke last week approached the Constitutional Court, arguing that he should not be cited as a respondent in the application.

However, the guardian’s lawyer Charles Warara said he would tell the court that the application was “frivolous and vexatious”.

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