Zimbabwe: Supreme Court Judge to Testify in Mubaiwa Case

13 October 2021

SUPREME Court judge Justice George Chiweshe is expected to testify in a court hearing where Marry Mubaiwa allegedly misrepresented to him when he was Judge President that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga had consented to solemnising their marriage at their Borrowdale Brooke residence in Harare sometime in 2019.

Mubaiwa's alleged lies led to Justice Chiweshe asking the then Chief Magistrate, and now High Court Judge, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi to prepare a marriage certificate that would be signed and activated after the solemnisation

Justice Chiweshe was supposed to testify yesterday before Harare regional magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube, but he was excused after Mubaiwa applied for a postponement of the matter on grounds that she was not fully fit mentally to comprehend the trial, although doctors had pronounced her physically fit.

Mubaiwa, who is represented by Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, is charged with contravening the Marriage Act by making 'false representation'.

Justice Chiweshe will be subpoenaed to reappear in court when the trial commences.

The State led by Mr Michael Reza, Mr Tafara Chirambira and Mrs Tendai Shonhai, had indicated that it was ready for trial after Mubaiwa's medical results obtained from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals indicated that she was physically fit to stand trial.

Ms Mtetwa, however, requested to cross-examine Dr Simukai Percy Machawira, who conducted the medical tests on Mubaiwa on the instructions of a clinical doctor from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, saying she wanted some clarifications.

Dr Machawira told the court that he only examined Mubaiwa on her physical well-being and noted that she could stand trial.

"I just spoke to the clinical director who requested for a physical medical examination. When I interacted with the patient she said she was having painful upper limbs, migraine headaches, lower back ache and she said for the past two years she would sometimes collapse or pass out. She said she experiences sort of electrical shock like on her left fingers," said Dr Machawira.

Dr Machawira told the court that he only undertook physical examination and did not look into Mubaiwa's mental well-being.

During cross-examination by Mr Reza, Dr Machawira told the court that Mubaiwa did not show any signs of confusion at the time he contacted the examinations.

Ms Mtetwa, however, argued that the court initially ordered an all-encompassing medical examination that was to look into her well-being to ascertain on whether she could be able stand trial and not only look at her physical fitness.

"We apply that she be allowed to be examined on whether she is in a proper state of mind to go through the rigours of trial. The trial is a battle and one has to be mentally fit.

"The court did not seek to ascertain the mental status to ascertain her condition. They have to be in her full senses not altered by drugs.

"She is visibly sick. Accused was denied specialist medical attention. Her husband continues to get that external treatment and we have applied to courts to get such and she has been denied that right. Because of that lack of specialised treatment her condition has deteriorated and she is on six drugs to alleviate the symptoms.

"We seek a postponement for her to be examined by a specialist who will look at the mental well- being, effects of drugs and whether she is in a fit mental state to withstand rigours of trial and assess her fitness to stand trial that is not limited to physical condition," said Ms Mtetwa.

Mr Reza in response told the court that Mubaiwa's application for postponement came as an after thought, as she was aware of her well-being when she went for medical examinations.

He said Mubaiwa was supposed to have raised issues of the effects of drugs she is partaking on her mental standing.

Mr Reza said Mubaiwa went through a skin graft operation, which could have not taken place had she been not fit.

"I do not know if my sister made an application under Section 26 of the Mental Health Act. If she made that application we will be left with no option but to consent to the application.

"Under the Mental Health Act it is a requirement that she be placed in custody to be attended to by two medical doctors from Government," he said.

Mr Reza rebutted Ms Mtetwa's assertions that the Vice President was influencing the outcome in court proceedings.

He said if Mubaiwa was not happy about any court outcome she was free to appeal against any decision.

Mr Ncube is expected to make a ruling on Mubaiwa's application for postponement pending further examinations on October 15.

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