Tendai Rupapa : Senior Court Reporter
acting Prosecutor-General Advocate Ray Goba has requested for more time before he can respond to the application for legal costs incurred in the private prosecution of former Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke. Adv Goba wrote a letter to the court asking that they grant him a week, saying he needed time to go through the record before he can respond.Regional magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa said: “The PG communicated and said he needed time to familiarise with the case since he was not part of the prosecution.
“He asked to have the matter remanded to August 5.”
Private prosecutor Mr Charles Warara and Kereke’s lawyer Mr Erum Mutandiro consented to the postponement.
Mr Warara made the application for legal costs two 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 Johannes 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.