The assault case involving Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s wife, Marry, yesterday took an intriguing and dramatic twist as she was arrested, denied bail and immediately sent to prison.
In a court hearing where a record four senior legal professionals prosecuted, Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande ruled that Marry, who was arrested for allegedly slapping her maid, could not be granted bail.
Four senior prosecutors — Clement Chimbari, Michael Reza, George Manokore and Tinashe Makiya — were despatched by the state to oppose Marry’s bail application in the assault case. They argued the VP’s estranged wife must be examined bygovernment doctors as they suspected that she could have a mental problem.
The state also told the court that Marry had the potential to commit similar offences as she had violated her bail conditions by allegedly assaulting her maid, Delight Munyoro.
Marry’s mother, Helga Mubaiwa, cried uncontrollably in court after magistrate Makwande denied her daughter bail. But a cheerful-looking Marry consoled her mother as she came out of the dock to hug her, telling her to be strong.
In denying her bail, magistrate Makwande said Marry showed that she had the propensity to commit offences while on bail for a separate case of attempting to murder Chiwenga which involved bodily harm.
Prosecutors also tried to file an affidavit, that has been presented before the High Court, which they claimed proved Marry’s alleged unstable mental state. The affidavit was reportedly compiled by a government doctor.
But Marry’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa challenged the submission of the affidavit arguing there was need for that doctor who compiled the affidavit to come and be subjected to cross-examination before the report was tendered to the court.
Mtetwa said Marry should be treated like any other married woman and not denied bail just because she was married to the VP. She further said the court must not turn a blind eye to the fact that the maid was the one who was looking after her children.
“The state referred to the attempted murder allegations and the case will not see the light of the day because it was allegedly committed in South Africa and sections of the law speak of the jurisdiction. It is going to be difficult for the court to determine on allegations that happened in South Africa,” she said.
Mtetwa further told magistrate Makwande that the courts were being used to settle the case of a woman who was being discarded by her husband and being replaced by a newer modern woman in town.
She said Marry could not assault Munyoro with her hands as alleged as the accused’s hands were visibly showing injuries.
However, Makwande said in her ruling that it was not the seriousness of the case that mattered, but that the state proved that she allegedly had a propensity for committing another offence.
According to the court papers, on January 26 this year, the complainant, Munyoro, went to Hellenic Primary School in Borrowdale to collect the accused person’s child, Michael Chiwenga.
As she was waiting for him at the waiting area, it is alleged the driver, Batsirayi Furukiya, went to collect the child and the complainant remained seated in the vehicle.
The state alleges when the driver was walking with the child to where the vehicle was parked, Marry was following behind him. When she arrived at the vehicle, Marry allegedly started to accuse Munyoro of telling her child not to like her.
It is alleged Marry began shouting at Munyoro telling her that she is a witch and could not allow her kids to be taken care of by her.
Whilst in the car, the accused allegedly struck Munyoro on her left cheek using the back side of her left hand.