Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Zanu-PF Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke yesterday demanded compensation for legal costs after the “bedridden” private prosecutor, Mr Charles Warara, handling his rape case failed to turn up for trial.
Kereke is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in 2010 and indecently assaulting her sister who was 15 years at the time.
Mr Warara closed his case after calling seven witnesses.
However, Mr Warara who is reportedly sick and bedridden, sent an officer from his law firm, Mr Raymond Wenyevhe, yesterday to seek a postponement.
Kereke’s lawyer, Mr Erum Mutandiro, accused Mr Warara of deliberately stalling proceedings.
“Now this is an opportunity for our client to clear his name and to be heard, the prosecutor suddenly falls sick on the 11th hour,” said Mr Mutandiro.
“It raises eyebrows that Mr Warara’s junior lawyer sent to apply for postponement also lost his practising credentials, it is bizarre.
“Prosecution has to meet the costs accused has incurred bringing witnesses from rural areas and ensuring the presence of his counsel.”
The magistrate, Mr Noel Mupeiwa, ruled that Mr Warara is a human being and the court cannot assume he is immune to diseases.
“On the issue of compensation, defence must be reminded that in criminal matter parties do not get compensation costs unlike in civil matters,” he said.
The matter was postponed to April 4 pending improvement of Mr Warara’s condition. Allegations are that sometime in March 2010, Kereke called the girl into the house after the girl’s aunt, who happens to be Kereke’s wife, had allegedly gone to the shops to buy him some beer.
It is alleged that Kereke grabbed her by the waist and pushed her onto the couch before fondling her breasts.
The girl allegedly screamed, but no one heard her. On August 22, 2010, the younger girl was allegedly asked to babysit by Kereke’s wife. The court heard that she went to her aunt’s bedroom where the baby was and Kereke followed her.
After the baby fell asleep Kereke allegedly started fondling her.
He allegedly pointed a gun at the girl before raping her once.