MUNYARADZI Kereke, the Zanu PF legislator charged with indecently assaulting and raping his nieces in 2010, took to the witnesses stand Monday, and claimed that former central bank governor Gideon Gono stole $8 million from the RBZ.
The Bikita West MP, who was advisor to Gono when he allegedly committed the crimes, told court that his boss hated him for exposing corruption at RBZ and concocted the rape allegations in a bid to silence him.
Kereke said he infuriated Gono after raising the red flag over corrupt multi-million dollar deals the latter carried out in connivance with RBZ head of the financial intelligence and security (FIIES), Mirirai Chiremba, and other unidentified accomplices.
“Because of this, he (Gono) went on to fabricate lies against me,” said Kereke Monday.
The presiding magistrate, Noel Mupeiwa, had told Kereke to expose the alleged corruption if he felt this could help his defence.
Explained the MP: “The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe contracted two auditing companies, BDO Kudenga and company and KPMG auditors as part of the belated audit for 2008, which was being done in March 2009.
“The auditors established that a total of US$8,379,900 had been taken out of RBZ in cash by Chiremba.
“I directly participated in the enquiry and summoned Chiremba to my office. He (Chiremba) then indicated that he could not get the governor to sign for this money which he (Gono) had taken out in cash.”
Kereke continued: “Chiremba confirmed to me that he had given US$4,5m of the money to Gono, some $3,5m to a senior member of the CIO and that he (Chiremba) took the balance to purchase his own house.
“This became an outstanding issue and I immediately prepared a meeting with the RBZ audit committee and the governor.
“I also advised the CIO leadership CIO in writing as well as the leadership of the country that this was a clear case of fraud.
“That decision caused a serious dispute between me, Chiremba and Gono as well as high ranking CIO officials.”
The legislator also told court that KPMG established that R1.8 million was siphoned out of the central bank under the pretext that it was funding Gono’s travel expenses on July 22, 2009.
A further R3.4 million was also allegedly siphoned out under the same pretext in November the same year.
Financial Gazette deal
Kereke added: “I also reported the case where $200,000 in cash was taken from CBZ in April 2010, and this money belonged to Homelink Pvt Ltd, which is a subsidiary to RBZ.
The MP told court that the $200,000 was used to finance the Financial Gazette newspaper by Gono as the majority shareholder.
Kereke told court that he reported the case to the police, the Anti-Corruption Commission and also presented it to Parliament but nothing was done.
The troubled legislator said, in a bid to destroy his career and public image, Gono also sent emissaries to Murehwa to plead with his wife’s parents to convince their daughter to testify against him after the abuse case was reported in 2010.
He said his wife’s family was promised tractors and land, among other things, but they refused to cooperate and filed a police report.
After the MP narrated the alleged corruption, private prosecutor, Charles Warara, objected to the evidence and documents Kereke tendered to support his allegations saying this had nothing to do with the rape case.
“He (Kereke) should have reported the case when he was still an official at RBZ. Now he surfaces from the street with documents which he says are official,” said Warara.
“The fact is that he is no longer an official at the central bank so the question is how did he obtain such documents when they are not even publicised.
“He should demonstrate how he got them and they must come from proper custody otherwise they are not admissible. Where are the originals?
“Maybe he stole them and someone must testify that he lawfully got the documents.”
The magistrate ruled in favour of Warara and said the documents should have been certified by the head of the RBZ office or the responsible ministry not by a lawyer.
Kereke, who has tried to avoid prosecution for over five years, took the whole day to give his evidence and told court that he was only half way through.
He told court that he was in the United States of America when the indecent assault is alleged to have occurred.
Denies rape charges
He also told court that he was at his other house in Mandara with his brother when the alleged rape is alleged to have occurred although he did not mention this in his defence outline where Kereke told court that he was at his medical institution, Rock Foundation, when the alleged attack is said to have occurred.
Kereke also insisted that his younger niece, who was 10 in 2010, never baby-sat his child the night he is accused of raping her. Instead, according Kereke, the child was, on that day, admitted at Avenues Clinic.
The legislator is accused of raping his younger niece at gun point but he told court that he had already surrendered his gun to the RBZ at the time the offence is alleged to have occurred.
But Chiremba, in his evidence, claimed that Kereke sneaked the gun back into the RBZ the morning after the alleged rape and ordered him to back date it.
However, Kereke said all these claims were lies, telling the court that he is a happily married man, not a paedophile.
Led by his defence lawyer, Erum Mutandiro, Kereke told court that his greatest wish was to see all convicted rapists being punished to the severest extent allowed by the law.
The trial continues Tuesday.