HARARE:The long-awaited trial of Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke over an alleged rape that occurred in 2010 has started has started Monday at Harare magistrates courts with the legislator entering a not guilty plea.
Kereke’s trial will be the first high-profile private prosecution case to be heard at the Magistrates’ Court in recent years, after then Attorney-General Johannes Tomana had for the past five years, declined to prosecute the case arguing there was insufficient evidence.
However, the minor’s guardian, Francis Maramwidze, tenaciously fought for private prosecution of the matter up to the Constitutional Court, which last November ordered that he be given a certificate of private prosecution.
The victim’s mother lives in the United Kingdom.
A private prosecution takes place in circumstances where the State, through the PG’s Office, declines to prosecute a case and the aggrieved party still intends to pursue justice.
The aggrieved party applies for a certificate of private prosecution at the High Court, which determines whether the matter should be brought before the courts.
If the case is decided in the affirmative, the PG’s Office is ordered to issue the certificate, but all the costs of the trial will be met by the aggrieved party.
It is the prosecution’s case that Kereke in 2010 raped the minor, who was in his custody, at gunpoint at his Highlands house.
The matter was promptly reported to Highlands Police Station, but Kereke, who was an adviser to then Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, was never arrested over the matter.