Zim vice-president's wife charged for trying to kill him in SA hospital

16 December 2019 - 16:27 By LENIN NDEBELE
Zimbabwe vice-president Constantino Chiwenga.
Zimbabwe vice-president Constantino Chiwenga.
Image: Jekesai Njikizana / AFP

Mary Mubaiwa, the estranged wife of Zimbabwe’s vice-president Constantino Chiwenga, has been charged with attempted murder of the former military general.

The murder attempt apparently took place when he was in hospital in SA.

Mubaiwa spent the weekend in police custody over graft charges involving about US$1m and forgery of a marriage certificate.

On Monday, she made an initial appearance at the Harare magistrate’s court where her lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, told of how Mubaiwa was arrested on Saturday evening while taking a bath at their home in Borrowdale, the richest square mile in Zimbabwe.

The new attempted murder charges surfaced on Monday morning.

According to the state, on June 22 this year Chiwenga was airlifted to Pretoria - but instead of going to hospital, he was booked in and given medicine at the Sheraton Hotel, where he stayed for a day.

It is alleged Mubaiwa was determined for Chiwenga not to go to hospital, but his security detail moved in swiftly and he was admitted at a Netcare hospital the following day.

Chiwenga spent weeks at the medical facility, where he was given an intravenous drip so that fluids, medication and blood products could be administered.

His condition improved, but he was still only able to move around with assistance.

On July 8, it is alleged that around 8pm, Mubaiwa went to the hospital and told her estranged husband’s security to give them privacy. It was then that, according to the state, she “unlawfully removed the medical intravenous giving set as well as the central venus catheter".

It is alleged that Chiwenga started bleeding profusely, and that Mubaiwa tried to kidnap him. She was stopped, but as hospital staff tried to re-insert the intravenous line and the catheter and resuscitate Chiwenga, she allegedly made her escape.

Independent sources told TimesLIVE that this was the last time that Mubaiwa would have access to her husband, who, a few days later, would be airlifted to China where he recovered fully.

Mubaiwa - a former model who also featured in the music video for late reggae artist Lucky Dube's song Put a Little Love - has been remanded in custody until December 30.

Her legal counsel was advised to apply for bail at the high court.