Kereke, To­mana case takes new twist

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Tendai Ru­papa

IN a new twist to former Bikita West leg­is­la­tor Mun­yaradzi Kereke’s le­gal costs saga, the act­ing Pros­e­cu­tor-Gen­eral Ad­vo­cate Ray Goba yes­ter­day sought for more time and blamed ty­po­graph­i­cal er­rors on the dates he had said he would file his re­sponse.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, which was com­mu­ni­cated to the court last week, Adv Goba had re­quested the court to give him time un­til yes­ter­day — “Au­gust 5” — to re­spond to the ap­pli­ca­tion for le­gal costs in­curred in the pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion of Kereke.

Yes­ter­day, Adv Goba sought to change the dates say­ing there was an er­ror on the date given to the court last week. He said in ac­tual fact, he wanted to be given up to Au­gust 15, but the typ­ist made a mis­take and omit­ted “1”.

Re­gional mag­is­trate Mr Noel Mu­peiwa briefed both coun­sels on the new de­vel­op­ment.

“The PG com­mu­ni­cated to the court that the typ­ist made an er­ror say­ing she should have writ­ten Au­gust 15 but in­stead wrote 5. There­fore he has re­quested for more time to go through the record,” he said.

“He is say­ing he does not want to blame sus­pended PG Jo­hannes To­mana be­fore fa­mil­iaris­ing with the case hence he wants to es­tab­lish whether it was a mis­take or there were other rea­sons why he de­clined to pros­e­cute Kereke,” he said.

Mr Charles Warara made the ap­pli­ca­tion for le­gal costs three weeks ago in terms of Sec­tion 22 of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure and Ev­i­dence Act. In his ap­pli­ca­tion, he wants the court to con­sider the costs ei­ther against the PG’s Of­fice or Kereke.

Mr Warara urged the court to grant the costs on a higher scale. Ac­cord­ing to the sec­tion, the court might con­sider or­der­ing the costs against the con­victed per­son or the PG’s Of­fice.

Kereke wants the PG’s Of­fice to pay the costs on the ba­sis that he was not re­spon­si­ble for the re­fusal by that of­fice to pub­licly pros­e­cute him.

Kereke’s case had to pro­ceed through pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion af­ter sus­pended Pros­e­cu­tor-Gen­eral To­mana re­fused to pros­e­cute him say­ing there was no ev­i­dence link­ing the former leg­is­la­tor to the of­fence.

His lawyer, Mr Mar­shal Hondo Chit­sanga, said there was no rea­son why the PG should not be or­dered to meet the costs.

He said his client was nei­ther the one who barred his pros­e­cu­tion, nor the one who runs the PG’s of­fice.

In his ap­pli­ca­tion, Mr Warara said: “If the court was to or­der costs against the PG’s Of­fice, the court must take into con­sid­er­a­tion the con­duct of the PG.

“It was not a sim­ple mat­ter. It took years for the PG to re­act.

“It took a lot of time for the con­victed per­son to be brought to book and a lot of ef­fort for jus­tice to fi­nally take place. The PG’s con­duct, which he dis­played, left a lot to be de­sired.”

Mr Mu­peiwa sen­tenced Kereke to 14 years im­pris­on­ment for rap­ing his then 11-year-old niece six years ago, but set aside four years for five years on con­di­tion he does not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fence within that pe­riod.

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