Lawyer blasts police, AG’s office for ‘developing cold feet’ in Kereke case
HARARE – The lawyer representing a teenage girl who sensationally claimed that she had been raped at gun point by former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe senior staffer Munyaradzi Kereke two years ago, says police and prosecution authorities are developing cold feet.
In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday last week, Charles Warara also said the attorney general’s office must provide official reasons why they cannot prosecute.
This will allow the victim’s family to proceed with a private prosecution. He claimed despite a promise to provide details in December, authorities had suddenly changed tact and sought to prosecute him (Warara) for what he described as an obscure abuse case.
“We had expected Kereke to be brought before the courts in December. My understanding from briefings by my clients is that the police had promised to take the matter to court during the school holidays to give the girl a chance to testify.
In fact the attorney general had promised they would move ahead and bring Kereke to justice. Instead, the police concentrated their efforts on trying to construct a case against me of abuse. They actually wanted me to persuade my client to give a statement against me,” Warara said.
In October last year, Warara was briefly arrested and released but not before being forced to provide a warned and cautioned statement.
“Now I realise the police have no case against me because how do they intend to record a statement from a supposed complainant after the accused’s statement. They should have had the complainant’s statement first,” Warara said.
Warara opened a Pandora’s box last year when he wrote to police chief Augustine Chihuri late last year expressing his disgust at what he called denial of justice after prosecution authorities refused to charge Kereke “even though the investigating officer had indicated it was a serious case and had forwarded it to the AG as normal procedure for guidance.”
Warara claimed lack of proper investigation by the police and tardy prosecution by the attorney general resulted in his client being denied justice. The girl’s paternal grandparents, who enjoy a good relationship with Kereke hit back by lodging a 14-page complaint with the Law Society of Zimbabwe stating that Warara frequently took the girl to all-night prayer sessions in Glen Forest at which he abused her.
They demanded an investigation.
“Our clients submit that both Mr Warara and the legal custodians of the children… must be thoroughly investigated for child abuse for seeking to achieve other unclear objectives using minor children,” the grandparents’ alleged through lawyer James Makiya.
They further claimed Warara was “long fully briefed, in writing, and on many occasions , on the true status of the case and why it was discarded as a false report, yet, somehow he continues to go public with his unfounded protestations, further infringing the welfare of the minor children.”
Warara has retorted that Kereke’s theatrics will not intimidate him, adding he has obtained iron-clad evidence to nail him.
He said investigators have been shielding Kereke but maintained the raped girl, who was 11 years at the time the offence was committed, would eventually get justice. Warara has stood his ground and is now seeking an order from the High Court to force Johannes Tomana and the police to indict Kereke.
According to Warara, the “horrible” case is now with the police after the AG returned the docket to the law enforcement agents.
“He insisted that the authorities must prosecute or show cause why they cannot.
“We are not sitting back. We will soon be lodging our heads of arguments with the High Court seeking an order to compel the AG and the police to do their job,” Warara said.
Kereke has maintained that allegations of rape against him were a smear campaign by his enemies to tarnish his image.