Kereke, NPA to foot legal costs

HARARE - Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa yesterday ordered jailed rapist Munyaradzi Kereke and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to foot 75 percent of the costs incurred in bringing the former legislator to justice.

Kereke — a former Bikita West Zanu PF MP — is serving 10 years in jail after he was convicted of raping his 11-year-old niece.

Mupeiwa discounted 25 percent of the bill on basis that Kereke was acquitted on indecent assault charges and also that private prosecutor, Charles Warara, was partly to blame for “prolonging” the trial.

“The first count of indecent assault occupied a quarter of proceedings and Kereke was acquitted. The second charge of rape which he was convicted of took a huge chunk of time equated to three quarters,” Mupeiwa said.

Adding that the NPA was to be party to the compensation since it had a hand in delaying the course of justice.

“The NPA was supposed to cause Johannes Tomana to appear or cause him to depose of an affidavit. The then prosecutor general (PG) took a stance not to prosecute the accused person until an order had to be instituted by the superior courts,” he said.

“The PG’s conduct was not proper and there has been no explanation as to why they kept declining prosecution...”

“The accused person is also not innocent. He took the issue to the Con-Court and although he was exercising his rights that left a lot to be desired.”

Warara had submitted that according to section 22 (3) of the Criminal Law the magistrate had the discretion to either order Kereke or prosecutor general (PG)’s office to meet the costs.

However, acting PG Ray Goba’s office argued that suspended Johannes Tomana was supposed to address the court since he held the office when Kereke was prosecuted.

“In order that the court may properly determine the question of costs, I respectfully submit that it is fair and reasonable that the then attorney general whose decision is impugned be afforded an opportunity to be heard in person,” Goba said.

Kereke’s lawyer, Erum Mutandiro, argued that Warara’s application was wrongly placed as it sought to make the court review its own judgment.

“The court did not make an award as to costs because prosecution did not pray so…it (court) therefore cannot be faulted in any way because it is trite that courts do not grant what has not been prayed for,” Mutandiro said.

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