Fungai Jachi Harare Bureau
ZANU-PF Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke appeared at the Harare Magistrate’s court yesterday facing charges of raping a 13-year-old girl in 2010 and indecently assaulting her sister who was 15-years-old at the time.
It is the first case of its kind to be handled by a private prosecutor in Zimbabwe.
Kereke denied the allegations, saying the crimes he was accused of committing were politically-motivated and meant to tarnish his image.
But private prosecutor, Charles Warara, insisted Kereke committed the crime at his home where the girls, who happen to be his relatives, were staying.
Kereke rejected the allegations through his lawyer, James Makiya, during trial before Magistrate Noel Mupeiwa.
In his defence, Kereke argued that there were many anomalies in the allegations which showed that they were fabricated and the complainants were coached to lie against him.
“The delay in reporting the alleged offences and the inconsistencies in the complainant’s statements exhibit fabrication and coaching,” said Makiya.
He argued that the allegations were unfounded and extortionist as the complainants wanted him to pay for their tuition.
In her testimony before the court, the girl who was allegedly indecently assaulted insisted that Kereke committed the offence and that she had no reason to lie against him.
Warara alleged that sometime in March 2010, the girl was at home when Kereke called her into the house.
The girl’s aunt, who happens to be Kereke’s wife, had allegedly gone to the shops to buy him some beer.
It is alleged that when the girl got into the house, Kereke grabbed her by the waist and pushed her onto the couch before fondling her breasts.
The girl allegedly screamed, but no one heard her.
On August 22, 2010, the younger girl was allegedly asked to baby sit by Kereke’s wife.
The court heard that she went to her aunt’s bedroom where the baby was and Kereke followed her.
Allegations are that when the baby fell asleep, the girl sat on the couch in the bedroom and Kereke allegedly started fondling her.
It is further alleged that Kereke pulled a gun on the girl and threatened to shoot her if she did not comply with his orders.
He then allegedly raped her once.
Both girls later narrated their plight to one of their aunts and Kereke was reported to the police.