Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe head of security Mr Grasham Muradzikwa yesterday revealed that Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke was yet to officially surrender the pistol suspected to have been used when he allegedly raped an 11-year-old girl in 2010.
Kereke allegedly pointed the gun at the girl and threatened to shoot her if she did not comply with his orders.
Mr Muradzikwa told the court that there were efforts by the then RBZ head of financial intelligence inspectorate, evaluation and security (FIIES) Mr Mirirai Chiremba to coerce him into recording a wrong date of the gun’s return.
Mr Muradzikwa said he refused to comply with the orders and left the said pistol in Mr Chiremba’s hands.
In his defence, Kereke, through his lawyer Mr Erum Mutandiro, denied being in possession of the pistol, arguing that he returned it on June 14, 2010.
But Mr Muradzikwa dismissed the claims, adding that his records did not show that the pistol was returned.
He said the pistol was issued to Kereke on February 3, 2005 for his protection. “Your Worship, our records do not reflect that the gun was returned,” said Mr Muradzikwa. “I am the head of security and I am in charge of issuing and receiving back the firearms. That weapon is still outstanding.”
He added, “I remember sometime in 2010, I was called by my boss Mr Chiremba and he wanted to hand me over the weapon in question. He asked if it was possible for me to record it in and he wanted me to backdate the return date, but I told him it was impossible. I told him the books were audited, therefore it was impossible for me to do what he wanted.
“I then left the pistol with him. I do not know what then happened to it, but what I know is my records do not show that the pistol was returned to RBZ. Procedurally, the accused should have brought the pistol to me and sign for it in our books.”
Private prosecutor handling the matter Mr Charles Warara produced the book which showed the movement of firearms at RBZ and signatures of those who would have been issued with the guns. He wanted Mr Muradzikwa to indicate where Kereke signed when he was given the pistol and the blank space on which he was supposed to sign as indication that he had returned it.
Mr Mutandiro objected to the production of the book, adding that he was doubting its authenticity.
“I insist that this is an attempt to ambush my client with cooked up evidence in order to nail him for a crime he never committed and trampling on his constitutional rights,” he said.
“This is a mere counterbook that anyone can buy and write anything.”
In response, Mr Warara said Kereke was avoiding documentary evidence.
During cross-examination, Mr Mutandiro accused Mr Muradzikwa of lying against Kereke and questioned why he did not report Mr Chiremba’s actions to his superiors. Mr Mutandiro maintained that his client returned the pistol on June 14, 2010, while the alleged offence was said to have been committed on August 22 of the same year.
Regional magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa remanded the matter to February 29 for continuation of trial when Mr Chiremba is expected to testify.
Mr Warara alleged that sometime in March 2010, Kereke was alone with the then 11-year-old girl, whom he grabbed by the waist and pushed onto the couch before fondling her breasts.
The girl allegedly screamed, but no one heard her. On August 22, 2010, the girl’s young sister was allegedly asked to baby sit by Kereke’s wife.
When the baby fell asleep, the girl sat on the couch in the bedroom and Kereke allegedly started fondling her.
He allegedly pointed the gun at the girl and threatened to shoot her if she did not comply with his orders and raped her.