By Lance Guma
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HARARE – The rape case involving Dr Munyaradzi Kereke, a former advisor to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, took a new twist this week after the guardian of the 11 year old victim filed a High Court application seeking to compel the police and Attorney General’s office to bring the businessman to book.
It’s being reported that Francis Maramwidze has filed an application which cites police chief Augustine Chihuri and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana as respondents. In the application Maramwidze states that since he filed a report of the rape case in October 2009, nothing has been done to bring Kereke to court.
Maramwidze reported the matter at Highlands Police Station, before taking the rape victim to Parirenyatwa Hospital. “Following this report, the police were expected to take the case a step further by effecting an arrest of the accused. That was not done. He was not even called to report to the police station.”
According to a report by the Daily News, Maramwidze claims “Kereke started visiting his place of residence, “specifically to persuade” him to drop the charges before threatening to sue him over the case. He told the court that he made a report to the police pertaining to the threats.”
“They (police) even told me to be very careful with the children as well as my life as he (Kereke) was very well connected to Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Central Investigation Department officers who were protecting him and could harm me,” said Maramwidze.
“I have lost faith in the criminal justice delivery system which protects the influential,” Maramwidze further said. According to his affidavit, Maramwidze said he was called by a senior police officer who “categorically admitted that the ZRP had failed in its duty to bring this case before the courts of law.”
“What bothers me, is what is so special with accused that his case can be declined prosecution without any arrest being effected or without any statement from him being recorded,” Maramwidze queried. He said he will persist with his efforts to ensure Kereke is prosecuted for sexually molesting the victim.
Dr Kereke is alleged to have raped the then 11 year old girl at his home in the Vainona suburb of Harare.
According to Girl Child Network founder Betty Makoni who took up the case, Kereke took a gun and pointed it at the victim. It’s also alleged Kereke might have raped the 11 year old girl’s sister, aged 15.
Speaking to Nehanda Radio on Monday, Makoni said:
“Clearly this case has shown that there are high profile politicians like Dr Munyaradzi Kereke who enjoy impunity in Zimbabwe. An 11 year old girl`s life was ruined and for months she stayed indoors because she was stalked and victimised. Her grandparents suffered too.
“I want to commend parents and relatives with similar cases to emulate what the bold relative of the girl did. Given the financial and political influence Kereke has we all have to rally our support behind Mr Marwamidze because what he has started is a big battle to open a pandora`s box on all high profile rape cases where perpetrators enjoy impunity.
“What is critical is to find the best way possible for such genuine people stepping forward. It is a big shame that in a country where there is UNICEF, a child welfare ministry, a women and gender ministry and a victim friendly court none made a statement or even got interested to follow up on the case.
“It is also a big shame that in a country where we have a female deputy President and a female Deputy Prime Minister none could be bold enough to ensure Kereke gets arrested. This case should be a test case for the UN and all the world bodies working for children.
“The most worrying issue is how many children like here are mentally and sexually tortured by high profile rapists like Kereke. I ask lawyers in this case to sue for compensation for all I know is that the complainant suffered and lost her school, health and her life was ruined. Her sister too who was sexually assaulted must get support,” Makoni said.
In his defence Kereke claims the accusations of rape are part of a smear campaign resulting from his acrimonious feud with RBZ chief Gideon Gono after being sacked from his job in February last year.
Kereke claimed his removal from the central bank was calculated to conceal Gono’s criminal activities. He sensationally alleged that Gono stole millions of dollars and gold from the bank. Kereke has also made claims that he is the one who wrote the examinations which earned Gono a doctorate degree.