HARARE - Rape-accused Munyaradzi Kereke can no longer afford legal fees after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) allegedly garnished his accounts, the Constitutional Court heard yesterday.
The Bikita West Zanu PF MP blamed the dire state of his finances on Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Happyton Bonyongwe and his wife Willia, who chairs Zimra.
“The director-general (Bonyongwe) is crippling my report to the police,” Kereke said.
“I said that (retired Reserve Bank Governor Gideon) Gono and Bonyongwe wanted to sell Fidelity Printers to a Chinese businessman for $12 million. The Chinese businessman is now in jail.
“All my financial sources have been garnished by Zimra to a point where I am unable to pay the upfront fees for the senior counsel.”
He said that Zimra’s actions had crippled and disabled him from seeking justice in the ongoing rape trial, in which he is accused of sexually molesting two minors.
Kereke said he had reported a criminal case against Bonyongwe and his wife.
He claimed he had urged the police to investigate Bonyongwe and Gono over claims that they wanted to sell Fidelity Printers for $12 million to a jailed Chinese businessman.
Kereke said because of that, Zimra was now meddling in his private prosecution in a bid to incapacitate him. He said his salary was also being garnished from the Salary Services Bureau.
“The activity by Zimra cannot be a just one,” he said.
Kereke said this soon after his lawyer James Makiya renounced agency in a Constitutional Court application where he is challenging the constitutionality of private prosecution.
Kereke applied to have the application postponed indefinitely, after stating that at the moment he was unable to raise legal fees.
The Constitutional Court allowed his application but slapped him with costs.
The Constitutional Court proceedings were necessitated by Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana’s refusal to prosecute Kereke on rape and indecent assault charges, claiming that he had no case to answer, resulting in the abused girls’ grandfather Francis Maramwidze successfully applying for the legislator’s private prosecution.
The court order allowing his private prosecution prompted Kereke to challenge the validity of Section 16 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The Section compels the Prosecutor-General’s office to issue a private prosecution certificate when the State declines to act.
The parliamentarian’s private prosecution has since opened at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
He will be back in court on February 3.