Pressured Zanu PF lawmaker Kereke dumps lawyers midway trial in Zimbabwe’s landmark case

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Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke (Zanu PF) has dumped his lawyers James Makiya and Nathan Chigoro midway through his trial on charges of raping and indecently assaulting his two teenage nieces in 2010.

Kereke’s trial, which is being prosecuted privately by Harare lawyer Charles Warara, opened at the Harare Regional Magistrates’ Court on January 11 this year. The Zanu PF legislator is denying the charges, saying he was framed by his political and business enemies.

In a dramatic move, Kereke yesterday relieved Makiya and Chigoro of their duties to represent him and replaced them with a lawyer from Mutandiro and Partners.
Kereke made the move while the second witness was in the middle of giving evidence in camera.

Chigoro confirmed that they had severed ties with Kereke, but could not go into details.

 

“My senior counsel Makiya told me that we should not be at the court and can’t go into the details of what transpired,” Chigoro said.

Makiya and Chigoro, during their tenure, made six applications before the court, mainly trying to bar some documents being admitted as evidence in the trial.

Of the six applications, only two were upheld and these related to the order of 2010 phone records of the complainants being made available to the defence.

They also won a ruling that one of the medical cards could not be admitted as exhibits, but evidence could be led from it.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Warara confirmed that the second witness had finished giving evidence to the court.

“The second witness has just completed giving evidence and being re-examined. A third witness would be put to the stand when the trial resumes on February 3,” Warara said.

The prosecution still has six witnesses to lead, but the number could rise after the defence asked the medical doctors who examined the alleged victims to come and testify.-AMH

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