By DESMOND CHINGARANDE/NQOBANI NDLOVU
VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa has been sent back to remand prison, where she will be detained for the next 10 days as prison doctors mentally examine her to see if she is fit to stand trial for allegedly attempting to kill the former military commander.
Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube yesterday ordered her detention after two State doctors on Monday gave conflicting evidence about her health status.
Charles Nyamukachi, head physician at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, told the court that after examining her on November 4, he came to the conclusion that she was fully alert and fit to stand trial.
But Fungisai Mazhandu, head of the psychiatric department at the same hospital, said Mubaiwa was suffering from depression and anxiety, hence was unfit to stand in the dock.
In his ruling, Ncube said: “The magistrate can stop the case and order the accused to be mentally examined by two government medical doctors. For the purpose of acquiring the mental examination, the examined person shall be put to remand prison and will be under the officer-in-charge of the remand prison and the tests should be done within 10 days of this order.”
Mubaiwa’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had argued that her client was both physically and mentally unfit to be tried as she suffers from lymphoedema, an ailment which causes swelling of hands and legs.
The former model faces charges of money-laundering, fraud and attempted murder of her husband while he was hospitalised in a South African hospital in July 2019.
She has denied the charges and instead accused Chiwenga of fabricating the allegations in order to gain an upper hand in their pending divorce.
Chiwenga, who married Marry in 2011, filed for divorce after recovering from a life-threatening illness in 2019.
The Vice-President has forcibly assumed custody of their three children claiming Mubaiwa is a drug addict and unsuitable to take custody of the children.