Saturday, 23 July 2016

KEREKE APPEALS AGAINST CONVICTION

CONVICTED rapist and former Bikita West Member of Parliament Munyaradzi Kereke is appealing against both conviction and the 14-year imprisonment imposed on him for raping his 11-year-old niece.

Kereke’s case had to proceed through private prosecution after the suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana declined to prosecute him, arguing there was no incriminating evidence against the legislator.

Kereke’s lawyers Mutandiro, Chitsanga and Associates have hired Advocate Sylvester Hashiti to argue the matter on appeal.

In the notice of appeal filed in the High Court on Thursday, Kereke argues that the lower court grossly misdirected itself in turning a blind eye to the inconsistencies in the State witnesses’ evidence.

“The appellant did not have sexual intercourse with complainant and no physical evidence to support such proposition beyond reasonable doubt was led in contradistinction,” read part of the notice.

“The medical affidavit adduced did not prove or show whether there had been penile, digital or instrumental penetration and whether such was appellant’s hand and conclusively so.”

Kereke also accused the lower court of misdirecting itself in disregarding his defence that he was neither present at the scene nor present in the vicinity of the scene in question to have committed the offence.

“The court erred in treating the defence of alibi as one that required appellant to prove, it being trite law that the State bears the onus to disprove the appellant person’s alibi,” he said.

The lower court, Kereke argues, misapplied the burden of proof in the matter and shifted it instead to him as opposed to the complainant who had an obligation to, yet failed to prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

“The court a quo erred and misdirected itself in disregarding direct evidence to the effect that appellant did not have possession of a gun and could not have used same to procure the complainant’s subjugation.”

On the sentence imposed on him, Kereke argues that it is manifestly excessive on an allegation of a single count and single occurrence of rape to an extent it is not in conformity with the law and induces a sense of shock.

Kereke who feels that he was wrongly convicted, is now refusing to pay legal costs incurred during his rape trial arguing that Tomana was accountable.

He denied delaying prosecution saying he had no power to stop the legal process against him. Private prosecutor Mr Charles Warara applied for compensation of legal costs and other expenses incurred during the five years before Kereke finally met justice. herald

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