Judgment in the case in which Zanu-PF Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke is accused of raping his wife’s 13-year-old niece in 2010 and indecently assaulting her sister, will be delivered on July 11.
Regional magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa set the date after the defence closed its case.
Kereke, through his lawyer Mr Erum Mutandiro, called seven witnesses including his wife and mother-in-law who testified in his favour.
Private prosecutor Mr Charles Warara also called seven witnesses and the trial lasted for almost six months.
Mr Warara is expected to file his closing submissions on June 22 and Mr Mutandiro would respond on July 1. Both parties advised the court that they would present oral submissions on July 4 in support of their written ones. Kereke will know his fate on July 11.
However, the prosecution’s bid to have the investigating officer one Chief Inspector Mbiringa called as a court witness hit a brick wall after Mr Mupeiwa dismissed it.
In his application, Mr Warara said there were so many issues that were not clarified from the testimony of the defence witnesses hence the need for the court to call Chief Insp Mbiringa.
He argued that the issue of the gun was not investigated despite an order from the head of the Victim Friendly Unit. Mr Warara questioned why the gun was not produced in court.
Mr Warara also wanted Chief Insp Mbiringa to tell the court why Kereke was never arrested as he was brought to court by way of summons.
Mr Mupeiwa said the police used its discretion on how they bring suspects to court.
“Where there is a reasonable ground, the police investigate first and bring the suspect to court. The methods of bringing those suspects are known to them. If the police viewed that he was not a flight risk, it was up to them to bring him on summons hence in this case they exercised their own discretion,” ruled Mr Mupeiwa.
In the application, the prosecution also accused the police of conducting investigations poorly, but the court ruled that the ground was not enough to convince the court to call the IO.
Mr Mupeiwa said the prosecution had the docket before the commencement of trial hence should have studied it and looked at the grey areas.
He said: “The court should not make a ruling which would be construed to be helping one party over the other. It was the prosecution’s duty to secure all its witnesses before trial commencement.
“If I am to grant this application, prejudice to the accused person would be high. Accused person would not have a chance to call other witnesses therefore he might plead with the court to be allowed to bring more witnesses and that means this case will go on and on,” he said.
Mr Mutandiro opposed the prosecution’s application and Mr Mupeiwa ruled in favour of the defence and dismissed it for lack of merit. herald