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Bikita West Legislator Munyaradzi Kereke (Zanu PF) has been slapped with a 14-year jail term for raping his 11-year-old niece at gunpoint six years ago.

Kereke (44) will, however, serve an effective 10 years behind bars after Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa set aside four years of the sentence on condition of good behaviour. The legislator was acquitted on another charge of indecent assault levelled against him by his other minor niece.Munyaradzi-Kereke-1-1

Addressing the court in aggravation, private prosecutor Charles Warara said Kereke took advantage of circumstances and the age of the minor girl, whom he abused at gunpoint sometime in 2010.

“He went on to use a gun and traumatised the minor girl, who didn’t even understand what was going on. He is married with three wives, but went on to rape the minor without using protection, exposing her to sexually transmitted diseases or even HIV,” Warara said.

“He stooped so low, yet he is a person of authority. Another thing is that he fought relentlessly trying to avert prosecution and that on its own aggravates his matter. The delay can be put on the Prosecutor-General (PG), Johannes Tomana, but they took this stance together. If it was not for the guardians’ relentlessness, this case would have died a natural death.”

The prosecutor said “it was clear corruption was behind this,” adding there was no explanation why Kereke was favoured by people in authority.

“Court must make this an example because there may be people in this high life abusing minors and still getting away with it. He made every effort to avoid this case even when he qualified for jail. Rape is as bad as destroying someone’s life so it should not be treated less seriously.

“He sat down with witnesses to make sure they testified in his favour and deceive the court. As we speak, the PG (Tomana) is being charged for his conduct in this case, which demonstrates whatever was happening has been exposed.”

In his judgment, Mupeiwa said it was the court’s findings that Kereke crafted evidence and went on to coach witnesses, but his defence remained shallow and was divorced from charges he was facing.

Mupeiwa also said it was shocking to note that Kereke’s wife, the aunt of the juvenile, lied to protect her husband yet her brother’s daughter had been sexually molested.

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