Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke, who is serving an effective 10 years in jail for r#ping his 11-year-old niece, on Wednesday launched an application for bail pending appeal at the High Court.The bail hearing will be heard today.
Kereke’s lawyers Mutandiro, Chitsanga and Associates, have hired Advocate Thabani Mpofu to argue the matter.
In an application filed in the High Court, Kereke wants the court to allow him to deposit with the clerk of court, Harare magistrate’s court the sum of $2 000. He also proposed to surrender title deeds of a single immovable property and passport to the clerk of court.
In addition, he would be amenable to continue residing at number 12 St Andrews, Hatfield in Harare, until the finalisation of the appeal and other stringent conditions among others.
“Applicant has very strong prospects which cannot induce abscondment,” said Adv Mpofu.
“The fact that he has been convicted is accordingly inconsequential. Applicant is firmly established in Zimbabwe and can make no living outside the country. His huge family and economic interests are all in the country. He would lose everything were he to abscond.”
Adv Mpofu also stated that the imposition of appropriate conditions would ensure that Kereke is tied down to the country.
“Such conditions, must bear on the surrender of title deeds, passport and the imposition of a healthy reporting regime,” he stated.
Applicant was whilst appearing before the magistrate’s court not incarcerated and co-operated well with the law enforcement machinery.”
Adv Mpofu further stated that Kereke had also known for long that he was facing these serious charges but never did anything to put himself beyond the reach of the law.
“No cognisable indications exist for a contrary expectation,” he stated.
He said Kereke’s prospects of success on appeal were bright. Adv Mpofu also said assuming that the prospects were not as bright, there can be no doubt that the issues raised in the appeal are reasonably arguable and carry with them fundamental chances of success.
“Applicant has interests in being vindicated and in properly closing this chapter to his life,” he stated.
“He has lost his Parliamentary seat as a result of the conviction and has interests in making this right, at least for the benefit of members of his constituency who repose much faith in him.”
Regional magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa sentenced Kereke to 14 years behind bars, but set aside four years for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence within that period.
The court, however, acquitted him on charges of indecently assaulting the victim’s elder sister.
Kereke still insists that the charges he was convicted of were fabricated by the complainants’ maternal grandparents after he refused to pay their school fees arrears, but Mr Mupeiwa said at the time, the case was reported to the police, the arrears had already been settled