Kereke Accuses Standard Journos Of Extortion As Onslaught Escalates

The damning accusation comes hard on the heels of the suspension of Newsday political editor Kelvin Jakachira over allegations of corruption involving Kereke.

Kereke, an advisor to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, last week filed criminal and theft charges against Standard editor Nevanji Madanhire and reporter Nqaba Matshazi after
the paper published a story alleging that the banker-turned farmer’s medical aid society was facing imminent collapse.

However on November 16,  2011 Madanhire and Matshazi were granted US$100 bail each by Harare Magistrate Sandra Mupindu on charges of criminal defamation.

They are being charged with criminal defamation and theft of documents.The charges arise from the publication of a story by the weekly on Kereke’s medical aid company, GreenCard, allegedly facing

They were remanded to 20 December 2011 when their trial is expected to commence.

But Kereke has distributed several public letters alleging that he was a victim of extortion from the journalists from the stable. He has however denied bribing Jakachira with a Toyota Corrolla as alleged by
his employer.

In his letters in possession of  Radio VOP, Kereke does not mention the names of the two Standard journalists but warned that he would be ready to expose them when asked by the proprietors of the newspaper.

A day after Madanhire and Matshazi appeared in court and were granted bail Kereke wrote 18 November 2001 to Raphael Khumalo, the chief executive officer of Alpha Media Holdings, requesting that they meet
to discuss rampant corruption within his newspaper stable.

The letter is copied to the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Media Commission, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe).

Kereke said in his letter he was disturbed that Khumalo has rebuffed his several requests for meetings to discuss bribery at his stable.

“I write to once again kindly request to meet with you at your earliest convenience so that I highlight to you the grievances in have on the following two cases: The continued silence by your office to
give me feedback on the formal complaint I raised about a journalist at The Standard who explicitly extorted money from me.

As you are aware Sir, I highlighted this to you, as well as the Editor and Deputy Editor of The Standard about the abuse I suffered. I had hoped we would have closure on this matter in a much more diplomatic
way Sir; and I wanted to get the opportunity to bring to your attention that another journalist under Mr. Nevanji Madanhire illegally entered my residential house whilst I was at work after
misrepresenting to my security and domestic maids that he was my relative,” reads part of Kereke’s letter.

He claims the unnamed journalist went as far as “my bedroom ostensibly looking for news”. “The sad thing is that this journalist too later demanded payment from me and I have evidence and witnesses to that
effect. “

Meanwhile, in another letter to Khumalo copied to stakeholders in the media fraternity in Zimbabwe, Kereke has denied he bought a car for suspended Newsday political editor Kelvin Jakachira. Jakachira was
suspended by Alpha Media Holdings on Saturday for alleged corruption. Kereke said this was a “flat lie.”

He said Jakachira bought the vehicle from his medical company through an open tender for US$4 900.

Meanwhile Madanhire and Matshazi were on Tuesday slammed with another charge of criminal defamation over a story that alleged that co – Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi was trying to force new farmers off
their land and allocate it to his son and nephew.

Police recorded warned and cautioned statements from the two journalists on Tuesday before charging them.