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Chiwenga's Ex-wife seek High Court review

by Straff Reporter
19 Nov 2021 at 08:08hrs | Views
Lawyers representing Marry Mubaiwa have approached the High Court seeking a review of the trial court proceedings that led to her being remanded in custody for 10 days at the Harare Remand Prison pending medical examinations by two Government doctors to ascertain her mental condition.

The examination is meant to determine whether or not she is fit to stand trial.

Mubaiwa is facing a several criminal allegations including attempting to kill her ex-husband Vice President Constantino Chiwenga during the time he was admitted in a South African hospital.  

Her lawyers led by Ms Beatrice Mtetwa on Wednesday filed two applications at the High Court, one for review and the other seeking to have the review application heard on urgent basis.

The lawyers want the court to quash the proceedings in the court of lower rank claiming that the trial magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube committed a gross irregularity in that he failed to make a determination on the application that was before him.

"The respondent (Mr Ncube) committed a gross irregularity by making determination based on section of the Mental Health Act without affording the applicant (Mubaiwa) an opportunity to be heard on the applicability of that section to the matter that was before the court a quo," read the court papers.

"The respondent committed a gross irregularity in that he disregarded the evidence that was placed before him and the court orders together with the reports that were prepared in terms of those court orders."

It is also being argued that the trial magistrate acted with malice in making the impugned decision and placing Mubaiwa in custody because she had already been examined by three governments doctors.

The trial magistrate, argues Ms Mtetwa, lacked the jurisdiction and acted grossly irregularly in making the impugned decision because his previous orders had already been complied with by the doctors.

Mr Ncube ruled that Mubaiwa will be in the custody of the officer-in-charge at Harare Remand Prison during her stay pending medical examinations and said the examinations should be completed within 10 days.

Mubaiwa appeared in court on Wednesday on charges of contravening the Marriage Act after she allegedly lied that VP Chiwenga had consented to legally marry her during the time he was ill and made extensive arrangements for the ceremony.

The trial could not proceed after Mubaiwa's legal counsel told the court that she was not fit for trial.

The court then ordered that she be examined by doctors to ascertain whether she was unwell to comprehend trial proceedings or not.

Three medical practitioners examined her, with two physicians saying Mubaiwa was physically fit to stand trial while a psychiatrist told the court that she was suffering from depression and anxiety, rendering her unfit to stand trial.

Faced with conflicting positions on Mubaiwa's mental status, the State led by Mr Michael Reza applied that they proceed under Section 26 of the Mental Health Act, which requires that the accused be examined by two Government doctors.


Source - Herald