THERE was drama at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday when the ailing former wife of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga Marry Mubaiwa was brought to court in an ambulance for a routine remand appearance and was carried into the courthouse in a stretcher.
BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
Looking frail and in visible pale, she was helped onto a wheelchair for an appearance before magistrate Trynos Wutawashe under the attention of two Netstar medical assistants.
She had failed to attend court earlier and magistrate Ngoni Nduna slapped her with two warrants on allegations of money laundering and attempted murder charges.
Mubaiwa’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had appeared on her behalf in the morning. She told the court that Mubaiwa was in a poor health condition and therefore, was unable to stand trial.
But Nduna said the court could only remand her if she was at hospital, not at home.
Mtetwa then submitted before Wutawashe that Mubaiwa’s failure to attend the court hearing in the morning was not a “wilful default” but that she was in a bad state.
Wutawashe later cancelled the two warrants of arrest.
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During her appearance yesterday where she showed up in an ambulance, Mubaiwa answered to charges of attempted murder, assault and money laundering.
She is being accused of attempting to kill her former husband, VP Chiwenga.
Mubaiwa also stands accused of externalisng US$1 million. On another case, Mubaiwa
allegedly assaulted her maid, Delight Munyoro, at Hellenic Primary School in Harare. The matter was set for trial yesterday.
The State led by Netsai Mushayabasa, indicated that it was ready for trial on the assault case, but Mtetwa requested for its postponement since Mubaiwa was not yet fit to be tried.
The State also postponed the murder and money laundering charges to January 28, 2021 arguing that there were extraterritorial investigations that were yet to be done in South Africa. “Investigations on the matter are yet to be completed. Police have not been able to travel to South Africa to carry out extra territorial investigations due to the COVID-19 pandemic as there are still travel restrictions, “ Mushayabasa said.
Mtetwa demanded that the State should indicate how long it would take to complete the investigations to minimise Mubaiwa’s appearance in court since she was not feeling well.
But Mushayabasa stated that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she could not state the exact date when the investigations would be over.
The trial of Mubaiwa on the assault case will proceed on January 28 and 29, 2021, subject to her health status at that time.
Early this month, as the war between Marry and her estranged husband raged on, Chiwenga packed her property and dumped it at her business premises in Eastlea, Harare.
The property was from the couple’s Borrowdale Brooke mansion and it was allegedly dumped at Marry’s offices by military men.