Kereke still languishing in Chikurubi, says top prisons official

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

FORMER Zanu PF MP for Bikita West Munyaradzi Kereke is still serving time at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, contrary to reports that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally was transferred to the much friendlier Connemara Open Prison.

The controversial Harare businessman was slapped with a 14 year jail sentence in 2016 after being convicted of raping a then 10-year-old relative at gun point.

Kereke is serving his sentence in the prison’s D Class, a section for dangerous criminals.

Asked about the prison status of the ex-legislator, Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Deputy Commissioner human resources Fadzayi Mupure said open prison was only for those left with two years to leave prison walls.

“One of the conditions for inmates to be transferred to Connemara open prison is when one is left with 2 years of their sentence,” Mupure told this past week.

“And as for Kereke, for now he does not qualify in that category. I have also read about him being transferred to Conmara open prison, but there is no grain of truth in it.

“What I know is that he has served 24 months, 48 months were suspended on condition of good behavior. A further 40 months have been interfered with on remission which leaves him with 38 per cent of his sentence to serve.”

When President Mnangagwa became the country’s leader, there was speculation he used his influence to have Kereke transferred to Connemara.

The Midlands open prison allows inmates to receive up to 10 relatives in a day and have fun and is a pre-release plan for offenders where they often get to be in constant touch with the outside world.

Since his incarceration, Kerere has made several attempts to seek release from prison on bail pending appeal against both conviction and sentence.

Kereke’s legal battle has had many twists and turns up until he was convicted after six years of his case being parked at the Prosecutor General’s office.