‘Chiwenga should allow Marry to get treated: Women’s rights groups
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Women’s rights organizations have called on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and the courts to allow his estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa to get treatment.
Mubaiwa who is suffering severe lymphoedema and spontaneous formation of abscesses whose origins have not been determined, is currently out on bail facing charges including attempted murder of the VP, money laundering, fraud and assault. She was arrested in 2019.
Her passport is with the Clerk of Court as part of her bail conditions. She tried several times to get her travelling document to go to South Africa and get treatment but failed because the court considered her a flight risk
In a joint statement, women’s rights organisations, Women Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE), Economic Justice for Women Project, Chitungwiza Residents Trust, Female Prisoners Support Trust and Rural Young Women Support Network appealed to Chiwenga to allow Marry to get treatment and to see her children.
“It would be worrisome if parties used their proximity to State institutions to push them to settle personal challenges with their spouses.
“Since the Chiwenga couple’s divorce proceedings commenced over the last several months, the nation has been gripped by what is turning out to be an embarrassing yet disquieting turn of events.
“It must be noted that the couple have had a blissful marriage life which has been blessed with children and prior to the ugly turn of events they appeared in public blossoming in the sunshine of their love. It is therefore disturbing that since their fall out things have turned terribly nasty especially for Marry Chiwenga,” read the statement.
The organisations noted: “She has been arrested and arraigned before the courts and eventually granted bail after long proceedings at the High Court. If she is guilty of the offences for which she was arrested then justice will take its course but in the meantime she should enjoy her presumption of innocence. Therefore, it is distressing that Courts should seem to be working on a presumption of guilt so much as to deny her the much needed medical attention she requires.
“While we are not medical practitioners, our sense of humanity informs us that Marry Chiwenga is visibly unwell and in need of medical attention which may not be readily available in Zimbabwe.
“It is therefore in the best interest of her right to life that at a minimum she goes for treatment. We understand that this is a matter before the courts and will therefore only give our opinion and not instruct the courts as to the determination they must make on this matter.”
Mubaiwa was barred by the High Court from having access to the couple’s three minor children in February last year. Chiwenga and her are going through a messy divorce while being embroiled in several bitter legal battles which are yet to be settled.
The women rights organisations advised Chiwenga to allow Marry to see her children. They also condemned the VP for using the State security to settle domestic problems following their involvement in removing properties in the couple’s homes.
“Further, we appeal to the Honourable Vice President CGN Chiwenga to allow Mary Chiwenga access to their children. As women, some of us being mothers, we understand the pain of being separated from our children hence our call for the couple to find common ground where they can share in the growth of their kids.
“In the final call, we also note that State institutions must not be used to settle domestic differences. This is in respect of allegations by Marry Chiwenga that some sections of the security forces were used to remove her property from one of the couple’s homes.
“We therefore urge the couple, whose stature attracts national attention, to resolve their differences amicably and to give their children an enabling environment for them to grow and attain their full potential as they themselves have been able to do,” read the statement. Nehanda Radio