HARARE – Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife Marry, nee Mubaiwa, who is facing a string of charges including the attempted murder of her husband on Monday had an application to be removed from remand thrown out by a Harare court.
The 39-year-old, through her lawyers, argued that she had been waiting for her trial to start for over 15 months – an inordinate amount of time, the lawyers said.
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But magistrate Stanford Mambanje threw out her application after agreeing with the prosecution that extraterritorial investigations take time.
The former model was arrested in December 2019 and accused of the attempted murder of her husband who was gravely ill in a South African hospital.
She also faces charges of money laundering and fraud relating to a house and luxury vehicles allegedly bought in South Africa and China.
Mubaiwa accuses Chiwenga of fabricating the charges to swing a child custody battle in his favour after the vice president filed for divorce.
“The state has been investigating the case for the past 15 months and to date there has been no progress with regards to her trial,” Mubaiwa’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa argued.
The defence is particularly concerned by Mubaiwa’s bail conditions which have resulted in her failing to travel to South Africa for urgent treatment after she was diagnosed with severe lymphoedema which has caused “gross swelling of both hands and feet” and “large open wounds on both arms with some degree of granulation.”
Mtetwa said no prejudice would be suffered by the state if the case continues by way of summons.
Prosecutor Netsai Mushayabasa asked magistrate Mambanje for two more months, arguing that the extension was necessary to conclude extraterritorial investigations.
Mushayabasa said the prosecution is waiting for an update from the South African Police Service over the progress of investigations into the alleged plot to kill Chiwenga.
Mambanje, after siding with the state, remanded Mubaiwa to June 28.-Zimlive