18 January 2014

Zimbabwe: Kereke Rape Case Hearing Date Set

HIGH Court judge Happias Zhou will next month hear a case in which the guardian of Harare minor wants the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke for alleged rape.

Kereke, a former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe senior staffer, is alleged to have raped the 11 year old minor - a relative to his wife - at gun point almost five years ago at his Borrowdale home.

The girl's guardian Francis Maramwidze filed a High Court application, seeking an order compelling the businessman's prosecution following the refusal by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) allegedly because of lack of compelling evidence.

Maramwidze's lawyer Charles Warara confirmed to New Zimbabwe.com that Zhou had set 27th February to hear arguments from the NPA on why it refused to prosecute.

"The judge has set 27th February because he will be away on leave and will only be available late next month," he said.

"We only seek to hear from the NPA their reasons for refusal to prosecute despite the evidence we presented and if they insist of not prosecuting we want them to allow us to proceed with a private prosecution because we are of the firm belief that we have a water tight case."

At a pre-trail conference held in chambers Friday, it was also agreed that Kereke should file his supplementary affidavit by the 2nd of February while the applicant is expected to file his response on the 5th of February.

After the hearing, the court is expected to make a ruling on whether Kereke should be prosecuted or be granted a permanent stay of prosecution.

However, Kereke is arguing that there is no evidence linking him to the offence and has approached the Constitutional Court seeking to have his name removed as a respondent in the Maramwidze-NPA High Court case.

The High Court is yet to grant the legislator leave to appeal.

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