By Tendai Kamhungira
HARARE – Munyaradzi Kereke, Zanu PF MP for Bikita West’s bid to stop his private prosecution on allegations of raping an 11-year-old girl hit a brick wall yesterday after the Supreme Court struck off his appeal.
Supreme Court judges Elizabeth Gwaunza, Bharat Patel and Anne-Marie Gowora ruled that Kereke had no basis to file an appeal, since he was not part of the proceedings when the matter was heard at the High Court.
Gwaunza said there was no court order joining the legislator to the proceedings.
Patel on the other hand said Kereke was supposed to first appear before the High Court to be joined as a part to the proceedings, before appealing against the court’s decision.
Kereke pleads his innocence, despite High Court Judge Happias Zhou’s ruling ordering prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana to issue a certificate for his private prosecution.
Zhou’s ruling followed an application by the girl’s guardian Francis Maramwidze, through the family lawyer Charles Warara, seeking the prosecution of Kereke, claiming that he reported the alleged rape in October 2009, but police did nothing about it.
“Following this report, the police were expected to take the case a step further by effecting an arrest of the accused,” Maramwidze said. “That was not done. He was not even called to report to the police station.”
Warara yesterday said the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision meant that Zhou’s ruling remained unchallenged. He said the prosecutor general will have to proceed and issue a certificate for private prosecution.
Kereke, who was represented by Lewis Uriri and James Makiya in his application, told the court that he had no case to answer and should not be prosecuted on the charges.
He said due process was followed by the investigating authorities and that he submitted a warned and cautioned statement to Borrowdale Police Station at the material time on the complaint that had been lodged against him.
“The first respondent’s submissions to this honourable court clearly show that the first respondent (commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri) fully discharged their constitutional mandate and saw no merit for investigating further, let alone prosecuting me,” Kereke said in his application. Daily News