Kereke Freedom Bid Flops Again

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court judge Joseph Musakwa Thursday dismissed an application by jailed former MP, Munyaradzi Kereke who was seeking permission to appeal his rape conviction and sentence at the Supreme Court.

In a judgement handed down Thursday, Musakwa said he found no reason to interfere with the magistrate and High Court’s rulings on Kereke’s conviction.

He said the Harare businessman’s reasons to appeal were not convincing.

Musakwa also said she found out that the evidence by Kereke’s witnesses was poor and clearly crafted in a bid to win the case.

Kereke was jailed for rape in 2016.

Musakwa ruled that reasons for conviction and sentence given by the magistrate who convicted Kereke were sufficient such that his application for leave to appeal was weak.

The judge also ruled that Kereke’s witnesses did not help him at all.

“…Then there is the testimony of the two witnesses who did guard duties at the applicant’s other residence, 75 Walis road road, Mandara.

“These two witnesses, Taurai Bwanaisa and Norest Ndoro disowned certified extracts of an occurrence book they are supposed to have complied regarding the applicant’s movements.

“One wonders if they could not corroborate the occurrence book, how else could they have credibly supported the applicant’s movement alibi,” he said.

Musakwa said the issue about the pistol was also properly analysed.

“The surrender of the pistol to Mirirai Chiremba a few hours after the rape is no mere coincidence. It was badly choreographed incident that found no taker in an alert witness,” said the judge.

Kereke is said to have raped his minor relative at gun point 2011.

And the morning after the incident, he surrendered it to chief security at RBZ, Mirirai Chiremba.

Musakwa ruled that consideration of the arguments being advanced by the applicant showed that factual disputes were thoroughly determined.

The judge also said the legal issues involved were not complex such that the former Zanu PF politician could be given benefit to have that tested by way of further appeal.

“This leaves no doubt regarding the conviction. I therefore find no prospects of success on appeal against conviction.

“I am also mindful that leave to appeal against sentence is always treated less rigidly than leave to appeal against conviction,” he said.

“However, where established principles of sentence were properly applied, an application for leave to appeal against sentence must necessarily also fail.

“I come to the conclusion that the sentence that was imposed was amply justified such that there will be no room for interfering with the trial court’s discretion.

“Accordingly, the application and leave to appeal is hereby dismissed,” he ruled.

Kereke had approached the High Court seeking to take his appeal against conviction and sentence to the Supreme Court for the second time.

The former Central Bank governor’s adviser maintained that he was innocent and that the magistrate who convicted him, Mupeiwa erred in finding out he was guilty.

Kereke was jailed for 10 years back in 2016 for raping his 11-year-old niece at his Vainona home.

Mupeiwa handed down his judgement against Kereke on July 11, 2016.

But Kereke maintains that in convicting him of rape, the magistrate’s court erred and misdirected itself on the several grounds that he proposed in the notice of appeal he filed before the High Court.

The state proved that Kereke raped the minor at gunpoint and she did not tell anyone about it.

He said the fact that Mupeiwa accepted that he would rape someone while his wife was in the same house left a lot to be desired as it was impossible.