Zimbabwe: Marry Fraud Trial Fails to Kick Off

Good old times ... Marry Chiwenga and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga (file photo).
13 October 2021

The trial of ailing which Marry Mubaiwa, the estranged wife of vice president Constantino Chiwenga who is being accused of fraud failed to commence Tuesday after she told the court she is still too sick to stand trial.

Mubaiwa is accused of fraudulently obtaining a marriage certificate without Chiwenga's consent in 2019 when the vice president was ill and admitted in a South African hospital.

Her trial was due to commence before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube but it failed after she made a request for her trial to be postponed due to ill health.

Mubaiwa's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa told the court that the medication her client is currently receiving is not helping and she risks being amputated if she fails to get specialised attention.

The ex-model is battling lymphoedema.

"We pray that you postpone the matter so that she is examined by a specialist expert who will look at her mental health, drugs, dosages she is taking and therefore be able to place before the court whether or she is in a fit mental state to stand trial," Mtetwa said.

"Who the complainant is should not play a role in the cases she is facing. Justice must prevail, trial must commence when she is able to stand it. That is all she is asking for, fairness," she added.

Marry also called a doctor who prepared her medical report to testify for the court to determine whether she is fit to stand trial or not.

Dr. Simukai Machawira of Parirenyatwa a specialist surgeon however mental said health doctors would be qualified to do so.

The court was told Marry is on six mental variation medication.

Machawira said she has painful upper limbs, migraine headaches, lower backache, for the past two years she has been frequently collapsing.

He also said she has stiffness on her left hand, the fingers on her left hand no longer open.

Marry, according to the doctor also uses stop pain, migraine pain relievers also used as antidepressants, sleeping tablets/ sedatives, cleanser/detox, and pills that lowers blood pressure.

Machawira said: "A lot of patients are put on medication to control or assist them mentally to cope with pain or stress and as a result, they are able to carry their normal day to day activities... but I'm not qualified to comment on mental examinations."

Prosecutor Michael Reza however opposed the application saying this was a classic case of an afterthought "since Mubaiwa never told Machawira about her mental state when her medical report was compiled".

He said what Mtetwa was suggesting would mean that Mubaiwa is remanded in custody under the Mental Health Act and be examined by two state doctors to determine if she is fit for trial.

The magistrate will deliver his ruling on the application on Friday.

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