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‘Marry too sick to commit murder’

By MOSES MATENGA

Lawyers representing the incarcerated estranged wife of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Marry Mubaiwa, have said she was “too ill” and her hands were “too swollen to attempt to kill” the former army general who was admitted at a South African hospital.

Harare regional magistrate Mr Chrispen Mberewere remanded the estranged wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Marry Mubaiwa Chiwenga, in custody to January 14 next year when she is expected to be back in court for her routine remand.

This came out during the bail application hearing at the High Court in Harare yesterday where Mubaiwa’s lawyer, Taona Nyamakura said the State was failing to prove its attempted murder case.

Nyamakura said there was nowhere in the State case that proved the accused attempted to kill her husband, adding that the inclusion of a blood-stained T-shirt as evidence was “laughable”.

“The charge is attempted murder but nowhere does the State say the accused intended to kill her husband. What is there is just an allegation that she came to hospital to cause harm,” Nyamakura said, adding that the State case was too weak.

The lawyer said alleging that Mubaiwa dragged “a fully grown man” before trying to flee and disappeared from the scene, given her state, made the attempted murder claims “nonsensical”.

Nyamakura was later asked to withdraw the word “nonsense” in describing the nature of the allegations.

He said there was a medical report to prove that Mubaiwa was sick at the time the offence was allegedly committed and said it was not, therefore, possible for her to drag a fully grown man and disappear from the scene.

When Mubaiwa appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on Monday for routine remand, her swollen hands were bandaged.

She was remanded to January 14.

Photographs to prove Mubaiwa’s illness were shown to the court.

The lawyer said the provision of a medical report as evidence that Chiwenga was in hospital in South Africa did not show that there was an attempt on his life, as it remained a “notorious fact” that the former army commander was indeed hospitalised.

Mubaiwa denies attempting to kill Chiwenga, saying even after the date she was said to have tried to kill him, they travelled together to China and spent time together, she added that at one point, President Emmerson Mnangagwa facilitated her trip and upkeep while in the Asian country at the instigation of the former top soldier.

Nyamakura argued that given her state of health, it would be punitive to deny her bail as it required that she got constant monitoring.

The State opposed bail saying there was “overwhelming evidence” to prove that the former top model tried to kill the former top soldier.

Asked why there were not providing the “overwhelming evidence” the State said they had no directive from the Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi to do so.

The State argued that Mubaiwa was a woman of means and had properties outside the country hence there was strong possibility that she could relocate.

Justice Pisirai Kwenda reserved judgment.

On the money-laundering charge, the defence team, led by advocate Silvester Hashiti, argued that it was the company, and not an individual that ought to be charged, if any crime was committed at all.

Mubaiwa’s father, a Harare businessman, offered his properties as surety after it emerged the property she had forwarded for bail was co-owned with the Vice-President.

The former model has been in custody since December 14.

In an interview, Hashiti said: “We had two matters in the court, an appeal against the decision of the Magistrate that denied her bail. The second was a bail application on the attempted murder charge.”

“On the first one, we argued that all charges do not show how she was personally involved. All charges point to a company having been involved so on that basis, there is little that links her to the offence.”

“She is not a flight risk she has personal circumstances that allow her to face trial in Zimbabwe if need be and there is nothing that stops anyone from ensuring her availability for trial. The other matter for attempted murder is a completed matter.

“The offence as alleged by the State has already been completed. There is nothing that stops her from appearing in court and stand trial over that issue and all the witnesses the State seeks to rely on are high-powered individuals and she will not interfere with them (and) in any event they are protected by the State.”

Justice Pisirai said he would issue judgment soon as currently, most of the court typists were on vacation. NewsDay

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