The estranged wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Marry Mubaiwa, on Wednesday, applied for bail at the High Court of Zimbabwe.
In her bail application through her lawyers, Marry stated that she will not abscond trial as she “is of visible poor health, being visibly traumatized and having lost a considerable amount of weight”. Below is part of her application:
BAIL STATEMENT IN TERMS OF THE HIGH COURT BAIL RULES, 1991
1. The Applicant is MARY MUBAIWA, a 38-year-old adult female who resides at 614 Nick Price Drive, Borrowdale Brooke, Borrowdale, Harare, her matrimonial home. She is the estranged wife of the Vice President of Zimbabwe, Mr Constantino Chiwenga with whom she has three minor children.
She also runs a business known as East Town Holdings (Private) Limited 14 Boundary Road, Highlands, Harare. Applicant is a Zimbabwean national and does not hold any other citizenship or right of residence in another jurisdiction. She has strong ties to Zimbabwe where all her minor children are, and she has always considered Zimbabwe to be her permanent home.
2. Applicant is a well-known personality in Zimbabwe, arising from her status as the wife of the Vice President of Zimbabwe and her interests in fashion modelling.
3. On the present charge, Applicant was already in custody at Rhodeville Police Station in Harare, on charges emanating from allegations of externalisation, money laundering, and fraud since Saturday, 14 December, 2019. On the following day, officers from CID Homicide attended to her at her place of confinement and informed her that she was being charged with attempted murder as it is read with Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9.23). We will relate to the facts later.
4. The accused is currently facing charges of contravention of the provisions of section 5(1) (a) (i) of the Exchange Control Act (CHAPTER 22:05) as read with section 20 (1) (b) of the Exchange Control Regulations, S! 109/1996, violating section 8(2) of Money Laundering And Proceeds Of Crime ACT (CHAPTER 9:24) and contravening section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification & Reform) Act. CHAPTER 9:23. Bail in respect of those proceedings was refused by MBEREWERE ESQ, sitting at the Magistrates Court at Rotten Row, Harare on 16 December, 2019. The brief reasons for refusal of bail are that:
4.1 That the Applicant is a flight risk owing to the fact that she has the means to do so, and surrendering her passport is not a bar. Having been used to a life of luxury, Applicant is likely to be terrorized by the prospects of prison and that is an inducement to flight.
4.2 That there is a policy in against corruption and the courts had an obligation to be seen giving teeth to that policy. Refusing bail in this matter is one such way of doing this.
4.3 That the charges are serious, and that the merits are there and consequently this may induce flight.
5. The matter was dealt with under CRB ACC 96/19, and an appeal against that decision will be lodged simultaneously with this matter. The Applicant will pray that the matter be heard together with the present matter. She also incorporates that record, as is the submissions made on her behalf are also made herein.
6. The matter is being investigated by Inspector Saurowe of CID Homicide under ZRP
Harare Central CR 1521/12/19.
7. The Applicant appeared for initial remand at Rotten Row Harare Magistrates Court on Monday, 16 December 2019 before Magistrate MBEREWERE ESQ, and is due to appear for routine remand on 30 December 2019. She was advised that since Attempted Murder is a Third Schedule offence, bail must be applied for at the High Court. Applicant, therefore, applies for her admission to bail pending trial.
8. Applicant places on record that:
8.1 The Applicant has no previous convictions or but has one pending case as already outlined.
8.2 The Applicant is of visible poor health, being visibly traumatized and having lost a considerable amount of weight. A doctor attended to her and deposed to the affidavit attached marked ‘A’ but not in time for the other bail application.
The Investigating Officer admitted having seen wounds on her hands through he is unaware of their origins. Applicant will assert that she was injured in Bulawayo on 23 June 2018 by a handheld grenade thrown with the intention of assassinating the President. The photographs of her hands will be exhibited to the Court at the hearing of this matter. She thus needs constant medical care.
8.3 The Applicant resides at 614 Nick Price Drive, Borrowdale Brooke, Harare that falls under the Borrowdale Police Station catchment area. She undertakes to continue residing there and to seek the authority of the Court before changing her address.
8.4 The Applicant is a mother, to relatively young children. No doubt they all still need her love, nurturing and attention. Pre-trial detention will deny them of that.
8.5 The Applicant has made an undertaking that she will abide by any bail conditions imposed by the Court. She asserts that the charges are baseless she has persistently denied them.
8.6 The Applicant is a holder of a diplomatic passport. On its own, it means she is entitled to preferential treatment at the ports of entry and exit in Zimbabwe
8.7 The likelihood that she will be recognised if she tried to flee is high. That is if she tried to flee at all. Her heart is in Zimbabwe with her children.
8.8 She has no capacity to flee the country. Her status means that she is well known and cannot pass through any border post without being recognised. The Investigating Officer admitted this in respect to CRB: ACC96/19.
8.9 Applicant has submitted to the authorities and no issues have been raised by them regarding her conduct.
8.10 Applicant’s release on bail must be motivated by her exceptionally favourable personal circumstances together with all other relevant considerations. The state cannot establish any serious opposition to bail in this matter.
8.11 The Applicant is not a danger to society nor to any particular person if released on bail.
8.12 To say that the Appellant will influence witnesses, in a case that turns on the evidence of state security personnel and a former General in the Zimbabwe Army would be to slight the ability of the witnesses to deal with any threats to their integrity