HARARE - Ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono’s lawyer Tendai Biti has written to the Constitutional Court seeking to bar Munyaradzi Kereke from being heard after he failed to file his papers on time.
Kereke, who is ex- advisor to the RBZ governor, filed a Constitutional Court application seeking to push the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to investigate Gono on graft charges, allegedly committed during the time he was at the helm of the central bank.
Biti said he had filed heads of argument on Gono’s behalf on February 4 this year, which documents were served on Kereke and Zacc.
He said Kereke was supposed to have filed his heads of argument by February 21, before the date was shifted to March 7 and eventually March 11.
“Our (Ms) Perpetual Nyakapiko left the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe at 1600 hours on the 11th of March and the applicant (Kereke) had not filed his heads of argument," Biti said in his court papers.
“The applicant is therefore barred and we urgently request that this matter be brought before the Chief Justice for directions.”
He said Gono preferred to have the matter heard, despite the circumstances, given its importance to him and his family.
Responding to Kereke’s application in papers filed earlier, Gono said Kereke's graft claims were baseless.
“The instant application is clearly one that is short on the law but long on heat, malice and verbiage,” Gono said.
He said for Kereke’s application to succeed, it must be established among other issues, whether the claim is justiciable or if the Constitutional Court has the jurisdiction to grant the remedy sought.
Kereke told the court that 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.
However, Gono said the issues that need to be satisfied for the application to succeed were cumulative in nature, adding that the application was fatally defective.
Gono said he conducted business on behalf of the RBZ and if ever the central bank had issues with him, then it was supposed to be the complainant.
He said the RBZ was an interested party, considering that in the event of the court ordering an investigation, the central bank would be required to open and avail its books and official documents, among other requisites.
The maverick economist made claims that Gono bribed officials from Zacc saying huge amounts of money were moved from the central bank to the commission, but Zacc officials say it was infact Kereke who authorised the transaction.
Gono said allowing such a claim to succeed would open a floodgate of “frivolous and vexatious applications.”
He said Kereke is approaching the court with dirty hands, basing his allegations on malice, adding that the former advisor had flouted his conditions of service, including the bank’s code of conduct.
Gono said Kereke had made several claims including treating him like a criminal by laying false allegations, yet he had not been tried and convicted.
“Affidavits cannot be used as a football field in which one party reflects his or her command of the foul language," Gono said. "The applicant’s papers are replete with explicit details of this offending language.
“Litigation is not a contestation of one’s proximity to ill and disrespectful language.”
He told the court that Kereke had failed to establish any facts to prove that Zacc had acted in violation of its constitutional mandate, adding that the Constitutional Court was not a forum for personal grudges or political scores.
Zacc also urged the court to dismiss Kereke’s application with costs.