MUNYARADZI Kereke – the erstwhile adviser to RBZ chief Gideon Gono – suffered court humiliation on Friday after a magistrate accused him and his driver of “falsifying and doctoring” a medical report in a bid to secure a conviction against two RBZ security guards.
Magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini launched the withering attack as he acquitted Phillip Dendere, 47, and George Nyahure, 36, of assaulting Kereke’s driver, Privilege Maturure.
The magistrate also called on police to launch a full investigation into how a forged doctor’s report – overstating Maturure’s alleged injuries from a March 12 incident – had come to be used as a key piece of evidence by the state.
Jarabini said the evidence of state witnesses during the two-week trial was inconsistent and unreliable.
"The witness statements were too varied and lacked consistency, casting doubt on their credibility. It is the court's duty to rule according to clear facts which flow in accordance with how events transpired,” Jarabini said.
The two RBZ security guards said through their lawyer earlier this week that Kereke, who was not in court, had warned them that he would produce a “very good medical affidavit” against them.
Kereke’s comments, the court heard, were made on March 12 after the two security guards – who had been assigned to repossess an RBZ vehicle which Gono’s ex-adviser had not surrendered on leaving the apex bank – were involved in a confrontation with Maturure at the Rocfoundation Medical Centre in Harare.
The magistrate said: "How does one produce a good medical report without doctoring and falsifying? The said medical report turned out to be fake, giving credibility to what the accused persons had testified under oath.
"There were too many disparities and I’m left with no choice but to grant accused persons’ application for discharge.
“The accused should not be put on their defence to bolster a weak state case.”
Jacob Chiweshe, a former nurse at Parirenyatwa, has already been convicted of supplying a false medical report about injuries allegedly sustained by Maturure. His lawyer said Kereke’s driver had approached him with a ready-prepared report which he just had to sign, purporting to be Dr Johannes Marisa.
Chiweshe, who was given a suspended seven month prison sentence and ordered to do community service, said he had been promised US$400 for signing the medical report and a further US$2,000 if a conviction was secured.
To bolster the prosecution case, Maturure had arrived in court on the first day of the trial in a wheelchair – drawing derisive comments from defence lawyer Advocate Linos Mazonde who said it was an act.
Maturure wilted under cross-examination. The magistrate made the point that he had given “three conflicting versions of what transpired” – in his police interview, under questioning by the defence and during re-examination by prosecutor Liberty Gono.
A second state witness, Paulos Sibanda, admitted he had not seen the two security guards assaulting Maturure “yet he was purportedly present throughout the assault”.
The third witness, Cornelius Imbayarwo’s evidence contradicted statements by Maturure, Sibanda and Constable Elias Mavhene, the arresting officer.
“The evidence of all the witnesses had glaring inconsistencies and contradictions,” the magistrate said.
Kereke – who has gone to war with Gono since leaving the bank – had hoped to use convictions to bolster his claims that Gono had sent “hitmen” to kill him to shut him up from exposing corrupt activities.
In a media statement at the end of the case – his first since Kereke began his attacks – Gono said the acquittals were proof that “lies have short legs”.
Gono said the acquittal of the two officers who were “going about their lawful duties of trying to talk Kereke’s driver into returning a bank vehicle, a public asset which he is not entitled to keep, is a very welcome and appropriate verdict.”
The two security officers, Gono went on, had “like sheep, been accused of hunting, haunting and disturbing hyenas in the forest”.
“I have learnt over the last 35 years I have been working that lies have short legs and cannot sustain marathon runs. Even where liars try running short distances like relays, they will end up giving their buttons to the wrong running mates,” the RBZ chief said.
“I have chosen so far not to comment or deploy my energies on needless battles, when my conscience is clear and believe that every battle in life must be confronted and dealt with at an appropriate time and through appropriate channels, otherwise we cease to be civilised citizens of the world if we do otherwise.”
In comments aimed at Kereke, Gono said the “God of justice” had “shamed the devils of deceitful thoughts and actions in broad daylight, and he would do the same with all future battles where those accustomed to, and who choose to live a life full of bitterness and fabrications shall soon find that a finger is too small to hide behind as a shield of their treacherous actions”.