Kereke, Tomana case takes new twist
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.