Kereke wants Supreme Court intervention after court officials dump his case

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By Mary Taruvinga

JAILED rape convict and former Zanu PF legislator Munyaradzi Kereke is seeking independent tribunal to investigate alleged criminal abuse of office by Judicial Services Commission (JSC) officers who handled his High Court appeal.

Kereke recently lost his appeal against both conviction and sentence after High Court Judge, Charles Hungwe ruled that he deserved his jail sentence.

But the Harare businessman insists through his court papers that the judgement was biased.

He is now seeking audience with the Supreme Court after Judge President Justice George Chiweshe refused to entertain his claims.

Kereke wrote in his appeal that he was being tormented by the sudden reassignment of all officers who handled his appeal and believes something strange is brewing against him.

“The High court Judge President has recused himself from meeting Kereke who had asked for the meeting on the grounds that the High Court is an interested party in allegations of criminal abuse.

“Kereke has since made a formal report, providing supporting documentary evidence to the Judicial Services Commission copied to the minister of justice and the prosecutor general,” reads part of the documents.

Also attached are letters by the jailed ex-MP to JSC and Justice Minister.

In the report which was received by JSC on June 18, Kereke petitioned the commission to invoke its powers under Section 187 and 190 of the Zimbabwean Constitution to set up an independent tribunal to investigate the alleged gross misconduct and criminal abuse of office by judicial officers and support staff.

In the report, he wrote that Justice Hungwe who dismissed his appeal has since left the High Court and was now based in Namibia.

The other Judge who worked with Hungwe in coming up with the ruling, Justice Neville Wamambo has been transferred from Harare to Masvingo.

“Officers from the registry who include Mr Ray Matangaidze who handled Kereke’s appeal papers and repeated follow up letters have been moved out of high court to labour court. Sudden systematic dispersion of all the officers who handled his appeal has raised more questions than answers and has left him with no one to provide written explanations on the alleged unfair conduct,” reads the documents.

Kereke contends that Justice Hungwe’s judgement on appeal should be declared null and void on the ground that it allegedly contained imported new and incorrect evidence and also that court’s conduct was unconstitutional.

Kereke was in 2016 jailed 14 years for raping his then 10-year-old niece at gun point.

Four years of his jail time were suspended on condition of good behaviour. He was also acquitted on another charge of indecently assaulting the rape victim’s elder sister.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Kereke approached the High Court seeking freedom on grounds that the magistrate who convicted him, Noel Mupeiwa erred in coming up with a conviction and sentence.

In passing his ruling, Justice Hungwe said there was no reason to interfere with the sentence.