Zimbabwe

Judge orders ailing Marry to appear in court

BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
HIGH Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero yesterday ordered ailing Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa to appear before him in person so that he assesses her wounds before he passes his judgment on whether she should be given her passport.

Mubaiwa, through her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, had filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court for the release of her passport so that she seeks medical attention in South Africa.

She had not come to court earlier in the morning, but her lawyer Mtetwa appeared on her behalf.  But Justice Chikowero requested that the former model must be present in the court.

The frail-looking Mubaiwa then came to court later in the afternoon and she visibly struggled to walk and had to be assisted throughout to get into the court.

However, Justice Chikowero did not examine her wounds.

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Mubaiwa is out on bail on allegations of attempting to kill Chiwenga. She is also facing money-laundering and assault charges.

Mubaiwa is suffering from a disease which causes swelling of the hands and feet.

Her trial on allegations of assaulting her maid at Hellenic Primary School failed to kick off last month after Mtetwa, submitted to magistrate Trynos Wutawashe that she was not fit to stand trial.

Last month, Mubaiwa was brought to the Harare Magistrates’ Court for remand in an ambulance and was carried on a stretcher to the courtroom where she was seated in a wheelchair, with two medical aides at her attention.

She had been issued with two warrants of arrest for failing to appear in court.

In her urgent application to have her passport released, Mtetwa argued that it was important that Mubaiwa gets medical attention so that she will be able to stand trial.

She told the court that Mubaiwa also wants to seek medical attention out of the country just like Chiwenga who is often airlifted to China for medical attention.

Mtetwa said she was unable to access adequate medical care locally, adding that she cannot stand trial in her current condition.

Mtetwa also submitted pictures of Mubaiwa’s wounds to the court as evidence of her condition.

The State, led by Sharon Fero, acknowledged the need for Mubaiwa to get medical attention, stating that it was her constitutional right which ought to be respected.

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But Fero argued that Mubaiwa could seek medical attention locally because some of her accomplices in one of the charges are in South Africa and, therefore, there is a possibility of interference.

Justice Chikowero reserved his judgment.

NEWSDAY