POLICE Commissioner Augustine Chihuri warned that Munyaradzi Kereke was “unfit to possess a firearm” THREE YEARS before the former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe adviser allegedly raped his 13-year-old niece at gunpoint, New Zimbabwe.com can reveal.
Chihuri gave his warning in July 2007 after Kereke drunkenly trashed a hotel room in Masvingo and discharged two rounds from his CZ pistol during a jealous-fuelled early morning row with his girlfriend.
The police chief said the former Stanbic Bank employee and founder of the Rocfoundation Medical Centre was “unfit to be working in the governor’s office”.
Inexplicably, Kereke kept his job as an adviser to Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, and his gun licence was never revoked.
Three years later, on August 22, 2010, Kereke’s niece tearfully told how he had walked into a bedroom where she was babysitting his child and raped her at gunpoint – while his wife prepared food for him in the kitchen.
A report was made to Highlands police who transferred the file to Borrowdale police who have jurisdiction over the Vainona suburb, where the alleged rape took place.
Police interviewed the alleged victim’s 15-year-old sister – the first person she told of the assault – and received a supporting medical report from a Dr E T Chanakira at Parirenyatwa Hospital who examined her on November 1, 2010, and confirmed her hymen was broken in a manner consistent with sexual penetration.
The alleged victim’s lawyer, Charles Warara, says police are yet to charge Kereke and his attempts to obtain answers from Chihuri and Attorney General Johannes Tomana have come to grief.
Our revelations that the country’s top cop knew Kereke was a “danger to himself and others” three years before the alleged attack pose uncomfortable questions for the police and Gono over how he was allowed to keep a gun – and his job.
In a letter dated July 19, 2007, and seen by our correspondent, Chihuri wrote to Gono to warn: “Dr Kereke is a man of violent disposition, who is a heavy drinker as well. It is quite clear that he cannot control his temper and temperament at all, and this renders him unfit to possess a firearm.
“It is beyond reasonable doubt that if Dr Kereke continues to possess a firearm, he is a danger to himself and others.
“The reasons for his temper in this case (row with girlfriend) are very frivolous to warrant such reaction from a man of his status both socially and professionally.”
Chihuri went on to advise Gono that “I have no reservation in recommending that such a character is unfit to be working in the governor’s office, considering the damage such a character may bring to the reputation of the office in particular, and the Reserve Bank in general.”
It appears Chihuri’s advice was ignored by Gono, who retained Kereke on his staff until he was sacked in February this year for undisclosed reasons. The police also did nothing to enforce Chihuri’s warning – although Kereke was fined for discharging a firearm in public.
The Flamboyant Hotel withdrew its malicious damage to property complaint to the police after an apparent cover-up attempt by the Reserve Bank which dispatched its chief of the Financial Intelligence Inspectorate, Evaluation and Security Department – one M.E. Chiremba – who paid Z$50 million to the hotel.
The failure to at least arrest Kereke over the rape allegations – which he forcefully denies and has already sued two newspapers over – has raised concerns with the victim’s family and lawyer who suspect a cover up.
A police memorandum also seen by New Zimbabwe.com, prepared after the hotel incident in 2007, also reveals that Kereke fired his gun on at least one other occasion outside the Liquids Night Club in Masvingo.
On a separate occasion, he is alleged to have drawn his weapon during a confrontation with a Central Intelligence Organisation agent only to flee after the spy reacted faster and pointed his own firearm at him.
Kereke is said to have been overheard boasting that he was “very powerful and influential such that police could do nothing to him”, says the police memorandum.