State refuses to prosecute Kereke on rape charges

HARARE - The State has insisted that it will not prosecute Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke over rape allegations and urged the complainants to pursue a private prosecution.

But the complainant described it as a miscarriage of justice.

Kereke, a former advisor to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, is accused of raping an 11-year-old relative four years ago, but is yet to stand trial.

The girl’s guardian Francis Maramwidze filed a High Court application seeking an order for the businessman-cum-politician’s prosecution after claims that the police were failing to take action.

However, Sharon Fero from the prosecutor-general’s office, yesterday said the police and the prosecution department had acted according to their mandates by declining to prosecute Kereke.

“First and second respondents (commissioner general of police and prosecutor-general) acted accordingly and in line with their constitutional mandates,” Fero said, adding that the two institutions were independent bodies.

She said the prosecutor-general was of the view that there was no basis to prosecute Kereke, adding that the complainant can formally make an application for private prosecution.

“The relief being sought by applicant is incompetent at law,” Fero said, further claiming that it will be equally incompetent for the court to give a directive for Kereke’s prosecution on rape charges.

Maramwidze’s lawyer Charles Warara said that the police and the prosecutor-general should bring Kereke to book, saying the private prosecution still needed the go-ahead from the prosecutor-general who was declining to prosecute the lawmaker.

“The failure by the first and second respondent to bring third respondent (Kereke) to court or arrest him was a denial of the applicant’s rights to access to justice,” Warara said.

He further said it was not clear on what basis the decision to decline prosecution was based upon. He further told the court that the police and the prosecutor-general had acted “improperly”.

“There was failure to observe the law by the second respondent, which requires him to be neutral,” Warara said.

He queried how the prosecutor-general’s office exercised its discretion to decline Kereke’s prosecution.

Lewis Uriri, who appeared on behalf of Kereke, said there was no basis for the order that was being sought by Maramwidze.

“Once the prosecutor-general has made its decision not to prosecute, his decision is not ordinarily subject to review,” Uriri said.

He said any prosecution should be at the instance of the prosecutor-general, which is an independent institution that regulates its own operations.

Uriri further said the proceedings were a nullity, considering that no formal application fora joinder had been made to include his client as a respondent.

He said the court had simply expressed sentiments for Kereke’s citation, but had not given an order to that effect.

High Court judge Happias Zhou reserved ruling in the matter.

Comments (8)

What do you say to that Mr. Gono it looks like this man has friends in high places also, just depends now whose got more muscle. Really sad how Zim works thats why we are at the bottom of the food chain

Roland Cele - 4 March 2014

Kereke belongs to my faction, and Im the Minister of Justice to whom dear Tomana reports to, Com Gen Chihuri is one of my boys together with Chiwenga, Bonyongwe and Zimhondi, Shiri is the only one who belongs to that clueless daft woman, that Zimbabwe prefers to call a VP....so read between the lines Cdes, KEREKE aint goint nowhere coz I got him covered......

Ngwena - 4 March 2014

There u have it. This is the state of rule of law in Zimbabwe. Who is Tomana and what is the connection between Tomana and Kereke? This matter has taken years to get to court. Is this the way all rape cases are treated we wonder? So will Tomana give Maramwidze a certificate to pursue a private prosecution or he will deny him? In terms of the new constitution what are Tomana's reasons for refusing to prosecute Kereke? Tomana should give valid reasons for refusing to prosecute otherwise his personal decision is the law. The Executive arm of govt, the Supreme Court and Concourt must redefine the role of the PG in the light of this case and the new constitution. We know in Zimbabwe some people are more equal than others but the protection of Kereke to avoid justice has been too obvious and extreme. Will there ever be justice in Zimbabwe we wonder?

Lord-Have-Mercy - 4 March 2014

This is miscarriage of justice. Even the prosecutors are afraid to tackle the matter as Kereke has connections to Ngwena. Nobody seems to care about the abused girl. To hell with the justice delivery system in Zimbabwe!

Sekuru Chokocha - 4 March 2014

Surely , where is Betty Makoni and Musasa project.

blackwell - 4 March 2014

While I am not a lawyer, I still am very puzzled by the State's refusal to prosecute someone for alleged rape of an 11 year-old child, especially as the Attorney General's Office to be inconsistent. For example, according to Newsday published on 29 November 2013, the AG's office said it declined to prosecute Kereke for "want of inconsistent, coherent and incriminating evidence" and that the docket had been referred to the police for "further management" an assertion dismissed by the victim's guardian Mr Maramwidze. And now, the Prosecutor-General (as the former AG's Office was once called), has given a new reason for declining to prosecute saying there was no basis to prosecute Kereke, adding that the complainant can formally make an application for private prosecution. Now this raises two fundamental questions (a) If the Zimbabwe State is so terrified to prosecute Kereke for the alleged rape case, what chances are there of a successful private prosecution for rape in Zimbabwe? (b) Why is the United Nations Children's Fund not safeguarding the welfare of children in Zimbabwe?

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri - 5 March 2014

Correction: Sorry my comment should read: While I am not a lawyer, I still am very puzzled by the State's refusal to prosecute someone for alleged rape of an 11 year-old child, especially as the Attorney General's Office appears to be inconsistent. For example, according to Newsday published on 29 November 2013, the AG's office said it declined to prosecute Kereke for "want of inconsistent, coherent and incriminating evidence" and that the docket had been referred to the police for "further management" an assertion dismissed by the victim's guardian Mr Maramwidze. And now, the Prosecutor-General (as the former AG's Office is now called), has given a new reason for declining to prosecute saying there was no basis to prosecute Kereke, adding that the complainant can formally make an application for private prosecution. Now this raises two fundamental questions (a) If the Zimbabwe State is so terrified to prosecute Kereke for the alleged rape case, what chances are there of a successful private prosecution for rape in Zimbabwe? (b) Why is the United Nations Children's Fund not safeguarding the welfare of children in Zimbabwe?

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri - 5 March 2014

I think the question is whether there is evidence to support the allegation or prosecution.... I remember reading about a man who was accused of rape by his 10 year old daughter...After arrest and remand in prison he committed suicide...Further investigations later proved that the daughter was lying at the behest of her mother who wanted to fix her ex husband for re-marrying... Just saying pane politics apa...This nyaya and this guardian were quiet until Kereke started having problems with Gono then they discovered their sense of (in) justice????

wezhira wezhara - 5 March 2014

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