Jailed Kereke challenges US$550k lawsuit

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By Mary Taruvinga

JAILED former Zanu PF MP Munyaradzi Kereke has approached the High Court seeking to be excused from a US$550 000 defamation claim by his victims’ lawyer, Charles Warara.

The former advisor to then Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono was cited as a respondent in summons by Warara who is claiming US$550 000 defamation damages from the victim’s paternal grandparents.

The lawyer filed a lawsuit against the family after it allegedly caused publication of articles in which he (Warara) was also accused of abusing the girls who were 13 and 16 in 2012.

The grandparents alleged that Warara abused the girls under the guise of all-night prayers before he covered up for his offences by representing them in a case which resulted in Kereke being jailed.

Kereke said he was wrongfully cited as a respondent because he did not make accusations against Warara.

The jailed Harare businessman, who is now self-acting, wrote that he had no powers to influence what was published by the Daily News and insisted that the paper should be charged for defamation instead.

“In HC10524/12, the first respondent (Warara) is suing all respondents (James Makiya, Anna Muswapadare) including the applicant (Kereke) on the allegations that they wrote and caused the publication of the letter in the Daily News and Weekend Post Newspapers,” he wrote.

Makiya is Muswapadare family lawyer.

“That Warara had abused two minor children, Nicole and Tinashe Taruvinga at all night prayers was purely a principal agent transaction between Makiya and his clients not the applicant.

“Applicant does not own Daily News.

“Applicant did not cause the letter to be published in the newspapers,” said Kereke in his founding handwritten affidavit.

Kereke is serving 10 years for raping one of the girls when she was 10.

After allegations against him arose, the Muswapadares approached a girl child organisation claiming that Warara had abused the girls.

The girls are in custody of their grandparents from their mother’s side, the Maramwidze family, who hired Warara to represent them during the rape trial.

It was alleged that when their former in-laws asked them about the alleged abuse, the Maramwidzes told them not to interfere in the lives of the two girls.