Chief Court Reporter
Rapist former Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke (pictured right) says the cross-appeal by the guardian of the minor he raped six years ago, seeking a minimum of 20 years imprisonment term is devoid of merit. Through his lawyer, Mr Charles Warara, Mr Francis Maramwidze argues that Kereke should have got 20 years in jail in view of the gravity of the offence.In his application for leave to appeal against sentence, Mr Maramwidze also argued that the trial magistrate had not considered the aggravating circumstances when he jailed Kereke to an effective 10 years.
But in his response filed in the High Court recently, Kereke said the cross-appeal prospects of success are nil.
“It is devoid of merit and in that regard, it’s my prayer that the application be dismissed with costs on an attorney-client scale,” he argues.
Kereke also contends that if the sentence of the court a quo was to be interfered with, it could only be so on the basis that it was unduly harsh as per his appeal already before the same court.
“It is therefore my submission that the contemplated cross-appeal does not enjoy any prospects of success and therefore the application must fail.”
The former legislator also said there was no reason given justifying the proposed sentence, which he viewed was not only excessive but also harsh to induce a sense of shock.
In his cross-appeal, Mr Maramwidze averred that the lower court erred at law in failing to take into consideration the relevant factors determining the sentence to be imposed on a person convicted of rape in terms of Section 65 (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
The sentence, he said, was inadequate in view of the findings of fact made by the trial court and the nature of the charge.
But the trial court in its judgment, noted as facts that the complainant was a minor when she was raped. It also considered Kereke’s age and that a gun was used in the commission of the rape.
The court also noted that Kereke was related to the victim and that sexual intercourse was unprotected.
Kereke last month appealed to the High Court against both conviction and sentence. In the event that the conviction is upheld, Kereke argued then the sentence should be reduced to an effective eight months in prison.