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Women pressure groups abandon Marry Chiwenga in her hour of need

by Staff reporter
12 Sep 2021 at 07:44hrs | Views
WOMEN'S rights groups have remained silent over the mounting struggles Marry Mubaiwa, the estranged wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, has been facing for the past 18 long months.

In December 2019, Mubaiwa was arrested before she was remanded in custody for a month on charges of attempting to murder her estranged husband while he was receiving treatment at a luxury hospital in South Africa.

She also faces a litany of other charges ranging from assault, forging a marriage certificate to money laundering, which are still before the courts.

Facing ill-health, Mubaiwa has failed to secure the release of a passport from the courts to enable her to seek special medical treatment in South Africa.

This is despite that her husband regularly charters a plane to fly to China for medical check-ups for an unknown ailment.

Chiwenga and Mubaiwa are going through a divorce at the High Court and the once flamboyant wife to the former Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) is at pains to understand why the VP is also blocking her from seeing her children.

The once cheerful former model, last saw her kids over a year ago before she was kicked out of the matrimonial home. She was arrested last year and remanded in prison after she had visited the children at a top private school in Harare. The charge was she had assaulted a family maid at the school.

Chiwenga has also blocked Mubaiwa from accessing cash from a local bank, money she desperately needs for her urgent health needs.

However, vocal women rights organisations, known for their militant stance against the abuse of females and children, remain quiet as Mubaiwa goes through a very difficult time.

She has accused Chiwenga of pulling all strings to make sure her life gets more miserable by the day. contacted several women's rights organisations for comment on the silence.

However, the responses drew blanks on how they had responded to Mubaiwa's mounting woes with some groups indicating they did not have finer details of what she was going through.

Katswe Sistahood, Women's Action Group (WAG), Women in Politics Support Unit (WIPSU), Musasa Project, and the umbrella body, the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) admitted they have not commented on Mubaiwa's unending challenges.

The Women Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) has only managed to share one tweet on their official Twitter page on Mubaiwa.

However, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), a grouping of more than 80 civil society organisations, has managed to question Chiwenga on the manner he was treating the Mubaiwa issue in a statement on 8 March this year.

Efforts to get a comment from Shamwari Yemwana Sikana (SYS) were fruitless.

Mubaiwa was once married to former Warriors international player Shingi Kawondera before divorcing him and falling into the arms of Chiwenga.

Kawondera told the media last year, he had since forgiven and wished her well even after the acrimonious end to their marriage.

In a recent emotional letter to Chiwenga, Mubaiwa wrote: "You have the comfort of going to China for your condition and you block my every effort to get money from the bank to get treatment locally. I wish you could wake up and smell the coffee, I wish for you to make right your wrong. My children suffer because of your abuse, blocking them from me and blocking me from them."

The divorcing couple has three children; Tendai, Christian, and Michael.

Mubaiwa said junior soldiers have allegedly been used to harass her and recently a Harare court was told doctors treating her were not willing to release medical affidavits out of fear of the former army general.

Twice, she has attended court straight from hospital and was once brought in a courtroom at the Harare Magistrates' Courts in a stretcher bed.

However, women's rights remain silent as Mubaiwa problems pile up.

"I do not want to talk about that," WIPSU director Sakhile Sifelani-Ngoma told in terse response.

WAG director Edinah Masiyiwa said she had not been following the matter and could not comment.

"Unfortunately I have not been following that story. I do not have facts around it to comment on it," she said.

The case has been dragging since December 2019.

Musasa Project director Precious Taru also said she had no finer details over Mubaiwa's predicament.

Fadziso Mawunganidze of Katswe Sistahood said the outspoken group had not released any alert or statement on Mubaiwa's corner as they had not been following her case and were waiting on WCoZ for an update.

However, WCoZ chairperson Evernice Munando said they were still in discussions on the matter with other member organisations.

"We have not released anything, but we are in discussions on the matter. It is just that usually we only release blanket statements only," she said.

"We have seen her in crutches attending court constantly and feel even the court should realise she is not in a state to stand before it.

"I am not aligned to any political party, but the state should consider pardoning her on health grounds especially considering the compliance she has been exhibiting."

WALPE director Stabile Dewa said they tweeted about it once but stood in her corner.

"We released something once sometime back, it could be a tweet but we did say we are in her defence," said Dewa.

"Our message to those in power is that they should not abuse state institutions to fight personal battles. We do not feel she is getting fair treatment."

As the case draws closer to two years, Mubaiwa's only notable female ally has been celebrated human rights defender Beatrice Mtetwa who recently convinced the court to order doctors to provide her medical affidavits by 6 October.

Cutting a lonely figure when in public, Mubaiwa has continued to concede to orders dragging herself before the courts, and continuously pleading her innocence.

Source - newzimbabwe