Fresh setback for Kereke

HARARE - The High Court has struck off the roll a matter in which former advisor to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Munyaradzi Kereke is suing his ex-boss Gideon Gono for over $2 million in damages.

Kereke claims he lost the money after Gono “fraudulently and unlawfully withdrew” $100 000 from his Renaissance Merchant Bank account.

Kereke’s charges come hardly a week after hurdles were cleared for Gono to take up his post as Zanu PF Buhera senator. 

Kereke, through his company Fairdrop Trading (Private) Limited trading as Rock Foundation Medical Centre, filed the application citing the former RBZ governor, Renaissance Merchant Bank and Gono’s company Dhobhadhobha Construction (Private) Limited as respondents.

The matter had been set down for hearing yesterday before High Court Judge Happious Zhou.

Gono’s lawyer Jonathan Samukange said that he was only advised that the case had been struck off the roll after attending court because Renaissance Bank is under liquidation and had no representation, making it difficult for the trial to proceed.

In his court papers, Kereke claims that Gono “fraudulently and unlawfully debited” the money from his bank account, claiming that the transaction was done without his authorisation, knowledge and consent.

Kereke, who is facing garnishee orders from the taxman, claimed in his court papers that he lost $463 000 through Zimbabwe Revenue Authority penalties, for his failure to meet his tax obligations within the stipulated time because of the withdrawal.

He also claims to have lost $972 000 in business revenue due to a delay in renovating his hospital, $864 000, for his delay in the construction of theatre rooms and

$200 000 for damages he suffered as a result of labour disputes and diminished morale among his workers due to late payments.

Gono refuted Kereke’s allegations saying it was an ongoing case of “malice, misrepresentation and mental instability” on the part of Kereke.

Describing the allegations as “laughable”, he questioned the timing of the suit, which comes after Gono is due to take up his Senate appointment.

He said it was becoming “customary” for Kereke to bring up incredulous allegations against him whenever there were political developments that advance his interests.

Last December when the politburo okayed Gono's Senate appointment, Kereke lodged a Constitutional challenge making a raft of corruption allegations against the retired RBZ governor.

Gono has said he had a good relationship with his former subordinate but things changed after he left the RBZ.

“He (Kereke) began spreading malicious defamatory rumours and became uncontrollably vindictive resulting in malicious prosecution all designed to embarrass and injure the first defendant,” he said through his lawyer.

He said Kereke offered to assist with the money after he overheard that Gono’s company had approached the bank for an overdraft to pay its workers.

He said it was not the first time that the two had assisted each other financially. Gono said he had offered security for Kereke’s businesses.

 

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