BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE/TREVOR MUTSVAIRO
VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga’s former wife, Marry Mubaiwa yesterday said she cannot be tried in Zimbabwe for an offence that was allegedly committed in South Africa.
In her application for exception to charges of attempting to kill her former husband made through her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, Mubaiwa questioned the Zimbabwe court’s jurisdiction of the matter which is alleged to have happened in the neighbouring country in 2019.
“The offence with which the accused is charged allegedly took place in Pretoria, South Africa, an area well outside the territorial jurisdiction of this court,” Mubaiwa submitted.
“No element of the offence is alleged to have taken place within the court’s jurisdiction, nor does the section under which the accused has been charged have extra-territorial operation which would clothe the court with jurisdiction.
“The accused contends that from the State’s allegations, the alleged offence was wholly committed outside the borders of Zimbabwe and there is no allegation or other legal contention that the alleged offence had impact or intended impact on Zimbabwe which would clothe the court with the necessary jurisdiction.
“There is, therefore, nothing before the court which clothes it with jurisdiction and the court is obliged to decline jurisdiction.”
Harare magistrate Florence Chakanyuka will deliver her ruling on August 5. George Manokore was representing the State.
Allegations are that on June 22, 2019, Chiwenga was airlifted to South Africa for emergency medical attention.
He was in the company of Mubaiwa and his security team, including Health and Child Welfare deputy minister John Mangwiro.
It is alleged that upon arrival, Mubaiwa forced Chiwenga to stay at Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria for more than 24 hours without taking him to hospital, resulting in his health worsening.
Chiwenga’s security details claims to have forcibly taken him to Netcare Hospital in Pretoria where was subsequently admitted in the intensive care unit under the care of one Dr Sieling.
Weeks later, he was transferred to a private ward within the same hospital where he was subjected to 24-hour monitoring by the hospital medical team and his security personnel.
On July 8, 2019, at about 8pm, Mubaiwa allegedly told the security team to leave the private ward, indicating that she wanted privacy with the VP.
Mubaiwa allegedly removed the life support instruments, forced Chiwenga off the bed and tried to flee but was intercepted by security personnel.
After the alleged incident, Chiwenga was flown to China for further treatment and returned to Zimbabwe after he had fully recovered where he lodged charges against Mubaiwa.
Mubaiwa was recently convicted of trying to forge a marriage certificate with Chiwenga. She is also facing assault and money-laundering charges.
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