BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa was yesterday convicted of marriage fraud by Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube.
Mubaiwa, who is battling acute lymphedema which has resulted in her doctors recommending amputation of one of her arms, was represented by lawyer Beatrice Mtwetwa, who refused to defend at the end of the State case.
More than 12 witnesses had testified in the matter in which she is accused of forging their marriage certificate with Chiwenga without his knowledge. Chiwenga also testified.
In convicting her, Ncube said it was a fact that her husband was very ill at the time the marriage was allegedly solemnised, which meant that he never consented to the marriage.
Ncube said their marriage was solemnised after Mubaiwa misrepresented facts to .
“So if the complainant never consented to wed or have their marriage solemnised, can it be said the accused presented the correct statement to the first witness? I believe not. It is my considered view that the accused made a false statement to the first witness who believed that there was consent from the complainant yet there was none. It is my considered view that there was overwhelming evidence against the accused person. The accused is, therefore, found guilty as charged,” Ncube further ruled.
“Even at the time when the chief magistrate decided to proceed to their residence to solemnise the marriage, the parties were not at their residence as it later turned out that the complainant had been taken to South Africa which confirms his assertions that he couldn’t have consented as he was very ill,” he said.
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“At the time the accused approached the first witness Justice Chiweshe, the purpose was for him to facilitate the solemnisation of the marriage. Justice Chiweshe decided to link her up with the second witness, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi, who was the chief magistrate then since Justice Chiweshe was not a marriage officer. It is, therefore, not in dispute that when she approached the first witness, it was for the purposes of having the marriage solemnised.”
Ncube said Chiwenga also never indicated that he consented to the marriage.
Ncube is expected to sentence Mubaiwa today.
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