Home » Industry » Zimbabwe: Kereke Jailed 14 Years for Raping Niece At Gun Point

EMBATTLED Zanu PF Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for raping his juvenile niece aged 10 at gun point in 2010 after avoiding prosecution for five years.

Magistrate Noel Mupeiwa, however, set aside four years of his sentence on conditions of good behaviour so the legislator will spend 10 years effective behind the bars.

Kereke was the first to be privately prosecuted after the fired prosecutor general Johannes Tomana continuously refused to try him saying there was no evidence against him.

He was, however, acquitted of indecently assaulting his other niece who was 15 during the same year after court ruled that prosecution's evidence was not credible.

Mupeiwa ruled that the court was left with no doubt that Kereke raped the juvenile as private prosecutor Warara managed to prove his case beyond any reasonable doubt.

"The court's findings are that the minor couldn't have fantasised sexual abuse at such a tender age. Although she confused the dates, her evidence was credible. The fact that she told her sister a day later supports her allegations as well as the fact that she told her aunt two months after the incident," he said.

The magistrate dismissed the first complainant's evidence saying she only disclosed the case of indecent assault after her younger sister told her aunt about the rape, five months after the incident.

"Considering her age, she was able to distinguish the right from wrong, also taking into consideration her level of education, she must have known her rights," he said.

Mupeiwa said the fact that the girl who was raped was only concerned about the word reaching her mother who is abroad, not that Kereke be arrested showed how naA�ve she was.

Mupeiwa also ruled that Kereke doctored his defence and went on to coach witnesses to testify falsely in court.

The magistrate said court's findings were that Kereke lied about the issue of the gun because he was trying to cover up for his offence.

"The accused said he returned the gun because he no longer needed it. He said he only wanted it during RBZ's sunrise operation but the court will not buy that. He was not given the firearm to guard money; his duty was entirely financial and was given the gun for his personal security. He gave it back because he had committed a crime using the gun," he ruled.

Mupeiwa also said most of Kereke's alibi was irrelevant.

"His defence remained shallow and was divorced to charges he was facing. He went on to allege that there was political interference but court failed to understand how this had anything to do with rape allegations.

He added, "The court will not dismiss chief Mukanganwi's evidence. He was consistent and his evidence was coherent. He confirmed that a meeting was indeed held with former Vice President Joice Mujuru and other party officials.

"He said Mujuru did not want Kereke to participate in 2013 elections. However, whether true or false, correct or incorrect, legal or illegal, this has nothing to do with the allegations the accused was facing."

The magistrate also ruled that it was clear that Kereke coached his witnesses adding that their evidence could not be trusted.

Mupeiwa dismissed Kereke's evidence that the juvenile's guardians extorted money from him.

"If the accused and his wife loved the two victims as their own children, why then didn't they help them with their school fees. Shockingly his wife, who is aunt to the girls, supported that line of evidence even when her nieces had been abused by her husband," he said.

Mupeiwa said if the rape allegations were false, the victims 'guardians wouldn't have wasted their effort reporting the case during the night after their granddaughter disclosed the abuse.

He said they instead would have extorted for money to have charges withdrawn rather than for money to pay the minors' fees.

Court also ruled that the medical examination report which had been on dispute was truthful.

In aggravation, Warara called for 20 years imprisonment arguing that Kereke ruined the girl's life.

Warara said what made Kereke's crime even more serious was that he did not use any protection and went on to avoid justice for a long time.

He said his sentence should be an example to "high class" people who think they can get away with crime so easily.

"If it was not for the guardians' relentlessness, this case could have died a natural death," said Warara.

"He was a person of authority but he stooped so low and abused his position to rape a minor at gun point. He averted coming to court even though he qualified for jail.

"Rape is as bad as destroying one's life. It's good that the ex-PG is being charged in relation to this case. We don't know why people of authority protected him (Kereke) but whatever was being done to protect the accused has been exposed."

In passing sentence, Mupeiwa said the court will not have an oversight of Kereke's contribution during his time as a governor and mitigation.

Source: New Zimbabwe