FORMER Bikita West legislator and convicted rapist Munyaradzi Kereke has appeared in court over fraud charges.

Kereke and his alleged accomplice, Everisto Rukasha, were remanded in custody and their bail hearing was postponed due to time constraints. 

Kereke is accused of working with Rukasha to defraud Harare Municipal Medical Aid Society (HMMAS) through the sale of his property, Fortress Hospital, for US$800 000 in 2014. 

Rukasha is the chief executive officer of HMMAS, while Kereke is the founder and owner of Briward Private Limited, trading as Fortress Hospital.

Kereke and Rukasha agreed to enter into an agreement of sale in which Kereke allegedly agreed to sell Fortress Hospital located at number 9653 Ruwa Township to HMMAS.

Kereke allegedly appointed one Newton Madzika, managing director of Health Body Images Private Limited, to conduct the transaction on his behalf. 

On November 7, 2014, Rukasha, representing HMMAS, entered into an agreement of sale with Briward Private Limited, represented by Newton Madzika, for the purchase of Fortress Hospital for US$800 000.

The State said on the same day, HMMAS paid the full purchase price into the Health Body Images account with Kingdom Bank Limited. 

On November 14, 2014, Madzika transferred US$800 000 to Kereke’s lawyers’ trust account, Mambosasa Legal Practitioners.

On March 18 last year, the State said Kereke and Rukasha formulated a plan to defraud HMMAS. 

Kereke allegedly wrote a letter to HMMAS demanding US$400 000, despite having received full payment. 

Rukasha supported the letter and tendered the acknowledgement of debt to Sibusisiwe Mleya, finance and administration manager of HMMAS, and verbally instructed her to pay the money.

 Mleya paid US$120 000 before the HMMAS board halted payments on July 25 last year, having realised that no outstanding debt existed. 

Kereke allegedly approached the HMMAS board threatening to repossess the property which was still in his name and made it clear to them that he was still in possession of the property title deeds. 

Resultantly, HMMAS authorised payments towards the liquidation of the fraudulently acknowledged debt.

After succumbing to alleged pressure from Kereke, HMMAS commenced payments in instalments to his Justice Foundation Trust Met Bank.

HMMAS paid another US$17 000 before the board later reflected on the concession and rescinded the resolution to effect payment and reported the matter to Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. 

At the time of his arrest, the State said Kereke had received a total of US$137 000  from HMMAS towards the liquidation of the fraudulent debt claim of US$400 000. 

Lancelot Mutsokoti prosecuted.

state media