POLICE have been accused of tampering with the rape docket of Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke (pictured), as it emerged the legislator allegedly approached the alleged victims’ relatives on more than five occasions with a view to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
The revelations of the missing documents, recounting the visits to the victims’ guardian, Francis Maramwidze, prompted private prosecutor Charles Warara to make an application to have the original docket, which is presumed to be with Prosecutor-General (PG), Johannes Tomana, to be released and brought to the court.
Regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa granted the application.
In his evidence-in-chief, Maramwidze told the court Kereke attempted to sweep the matter under the carpet on several occasions.
“He (Kereke) came to my house on more than five occasions, after the report had been made to the police, trying to talk to me, but I told him to go away,” Maramwidze said. “On one occasion he came and said he was on his way to Egypt on official business, but would return the following week and was holding an air ticket.”
Maramwidze further told the court the police and then Attorney-General (now PG) played a significant role in trying to save Kereke from facing justice by deliberately delaying investigations into the matter.
He said police were “retrogressive” in their approach when the matter was reported, but only acted following the intervention of a lawyer.
“I had noted that the police were dragging their feet on this matter and I had to involve my legal adviser to avert the delays,” Maramwidze said, while responding to defence counsel Erum Mutandiro, who had asked why his statement was only taken five years after the report was made to the police.
Maramwidze claimed at some point, about six police officers went to his home trying to force him to sign for the docket to be closed.
“The officers said they wanted the kids to sign some papers so that the docket would be closed, but I refused and the officers also refused to reveal who had sent them,” he said.
The court also heard that Maramwidze went to Ahmed House on three occasions to see an Inspector Mabasa, who had called them wanting the complainants to come to his office.
The court heard at one point Kereke, through his lawyers, wrote to the Law Society of Zimbabwe seeking Warara’s deregistration for his persistence in investigating the rape allegations. The trial continues today with two witnesses from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe taking to the witness stand.