Zimbabwe: Chiwenga's Wife Arrested

Mary Chiwenga, center, arrives at Harare Magistrate Court, in Harare, Zimbabwe, on December 16, 2019.

VICE-President Mary Chiwenga's wife was arrested on charges of money laundering and externalisation of foreign currency at a time the couple is on the verge of a nasty divorce.

Marry, who has not been seen in public since her husband returned from China where he was hospitalised for over four months, was arrested by detectives from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).

The nature of the charges she is facing remained unclear last night as Zacc officials said they were not yet in the picture.

John Makamure, the Zacc spokesperson said he could only confirm that Marry was detained at a Harare police station as part of investigations into allegations that she was involved in money laundering.

"It's true that Mary Chiwenga has been picked by Zacc and is assisting with investigations into allegations of money laundering and externalisation levelled against her," he said. "That is only what I can tell you."

Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda Moyo and other Zacc commissioners were not reachable until the time of going to print.

Another Zacc commissioner said he was in the rural areas and was not aware of the latest developments.

Some sources said the arrest could be linked to a property that Mary allegedly bought in neighbouring South Africa.

Chiwenga and his wife are said to have fallen out after the former model allegedly asked the VP to formalise their marriage when he was on his sick bed at a South African hospital.

The former army general who led the military coup that toppled long time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017 spent the better part of this year battling for his life in hospitals in South Africa, China and India.

When he was flown to China, Mary was allegedly banned from visiting him. On his return to Harare on November 23 she was not among those that welcomed him at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.

Mary was also conspicuous by her absence a week later when Chiwenga held a prayer meeting and a party at his homestead in Wedza.

The two are said to be living separately after the VP moved into another house on arrival from China.

Mary was previously married to former Zimbabwe national soccer team player Shingi Kawondera, who is now suing her for $700 000 over their separation.

Kawondera claims that the VP's wife forged his signature on the divorce consent papers and the alleged fraud cost him a business that they were jointly running.

Mary has indicated that she will defend the lawsuit.

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