Kereke rape case: Lawyer arrested

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HARARE – Charles Warara,
the lawyer representing a minor who claims she was raped at gunpoint by
Munyaradzi Kereke a former advisor to Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono,
was yesterday briefly arrested.

Warara told the Daily News in an
interview that he had been called to Harare Central Police Station’s
Homicide section where a statement was recorded on allegations of child
abuse.

“A police officer from the Homicide section called my office while I was out and asked me to get in touch with them.

“When I returned the call, I was asked to report to police with the two abused girls.

“Obviously I could not provide the girls because they are at school outside Harare.

“The
police then turned around and grilled me concerning the religious
meeting we held at home with the girls two years ago,” Warara said.

“These
meetings are arranged by my wife. I explained to the police that I
treat these two girls as my own and would never do anything to harm
them,” Warara said.

The lawyer accused the police of harassment.

“This
is a ploy to force me to drop the case against Munyaradzi Kereke but
there is no chance of that happening. We will not be deterred. Actually
our resolve has been strengthened.

“We have a strong case and
believe Kereke has a prima facie case to answer and instead of the
police taking that case in which a minor was abused to its logical
conclusion they are trying to harass me,” declared Warara.

The
lawyer opened a Pandora’s Box when he wrote to police chief Augustine
Chihuri a few months ago expressing his disappointment at the delay in
arresting and prosecuting Kereke.

Warara said the police’s inept
investigation and tardy prosecution by the Attorney General (AG)
accounted for the inability of his client to get justice.

The
girls’ paternal grandparents through their lawyer James Makiya hit
back,  lodging a 14-page complaint with the Law Society of Zimbabwe
accusing Warara of ulterior motives and abusing the children instead.
They allege that Warara also abused the girl.

They claim that between August 18 and 23, 2010, one of the two girls allegedly went to Warara for a praying camp in Glen Forest.

Apparently
the two abused girls were under surveillance as every move they made
was monitored while  communication from their mobile phones, was bugged.

The children’s paternal grandparents produced the phone records and evidence that the girls were being trailed.

Warara charges that the grandparents would never have known anything.

“They live in Murehwa and have no idea of how to obtain phone records. We know where that is coming from,” he said.

Makiya yesterday, confirmed he had raised the complaint with the LSZ but on behalf of the children’s paternal grandparents.

“I
can confirm that we raised a complaint with the Low Society but the
police action you are talking about was a result of a complaint from the
LSZ. They are the ones who forwarded the information to the AG,” Makiya
said.

However, his version of events was disputed by LSZ’s executive secretary Edward Mapara.

“The
AG has never communicated with LSZ, Makiya should tell you the contents
of our reply. We have not raised a complaint for the investigation of
Warara,” Mapara told the Daily News.

The case of the rape of the
11-year-old girl (now 13) two years ago received attention from human
rights bodies such as Girl Child Network.

Efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless at the time of going to press.

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