VICE President Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife Marry has approached the High Court and filed an urgent application seeking the release of her passport to allow her to receive urgent medical attention in South Africa, Harare Live has learnt.
This comes after Marry was diagnosed with lymphoedema — a condition which her doctors describe as a build-up of fluids in body tissues that can no longer be drained, causing massive swelling.
It also comes a few days after the former model was taken to the Harare Magistrates’ Courts in an ambulance, for the cancellation of two warrants of arrest that had been issued against her.
Marry is accused of multiple criminal charges — including stunning allegations that she wanted to kill Chiwenga. The couple is going through an acrimonious divorce.
In her court application in which she reveals the extent of the deterioration of her health, Marry said her efforts to get treatment locally had been futile as there were no lymphoedema specialists in Zimbabwe.
“I am in extreme constant pain. I now have to carry a gadget which drains the liquids from the wounds. Without immediate specialist care, the wounds are becoming more and more septic and it is paramount that I receive immediate, urgent attention … in South Africa.
“It’s a matter of life and death”: Marry Chiwenga in pain
“As my wounds are getting worse every day and the pain unbearable, I contend that this is a matter of life and death which should be treated with the urgency it deserves,” Marry said in her court papers.
She cited Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi and the clerk of court at Harare Magistrates’ Courts as respondents in her application that seeks an order for the immediate release of her passport and the scrapping of her bail reporting conditions.
Marry is being charged with attempting to murder Chiwenga when the retired military commander was on a medical visit to South Africa in 2019.
She is also facing a US$2 million money laundering and externalisation charge, as well as allegations of assaulting her child’s minder. All these matters are pending before the courts. As part of her bail conditions, Marry was made to surrender her passport.
In the application, Marry also said the prosecution had made her believe that investigations into her cases would be completed by the 27th of January 2020, in time for her trial — but the matters had been postponed continuously. She said the Covid-19 pandemic had also hampered her ability to travel to South Africa for treatment since the borders were closed, but after South Africa and Zimbabwe eased travel restrictions, efforts to engage prosecutors Michael Reza, Charles Muchemwa and Netsai Mushayabasa — who are handling the matters — were fruitless.
“Upon lifting of travel restrictions in both Zimbabwe and South Africa, my legal practitioners wrote to the first respondent seeking consent for the release of the passport so that I could travel to South Africa for the necessary treatment, “This letter was followed by many physical visits to Reza, Muchemwa and Mushayabasa, all of whom have asked for proof of my medical attention in South Africa, which has been provided.
“Regrettably, it appears that no one wants to make a decision on this issue which could easily have been dealt with without the need for a formal application,” Marry said further.
“I have been religiously abiding by all my bail conditions since they were imposed and I have no reason not to come back to face trial, particularly as I consider the charges against me extremely weak. “In any event, I cannot jeopardise my parents’ property which was used to fulfil one of the bail conditions,” she added.
On Monday, Marry was stretchered into court after she had been slapped with two warrants of arrest after failing to pitch up in court.
Her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had earlier told the court that her client was not well, and was at home as she could not walk.
But magistrate Ngoni Nduna said Marry could not be remanded at home, immediately issuing warrants of arrest against her.
Mtetwa later arranged for the appearance of Marry at the courts in the afternoon, in an ambulance — who was stretchered into regional magistrate Trynois Utahwashe’s court.
The magistrate subsequently cancelled the two warrants, with the matters remanded to January 28 next year. This comes as Chiwenga and Marry are going through a nasty divorce, with the vice president alleging that the former model intended to kill him when he was ailing in a South African hospital in July 2019.
Chiwenga has also accused Marry of money laundering and fraud. In turn, Marry has hit back at the retired former military commander, accusing him of fabricating charges against her in a bid to fast-track their divorce.
The attempted murder charges against Marry arose last year after Chiwenga was airlifted to South Africa for medical attention.
Upon arrival in South Africa, Marry is alleged to have forced Chiwenga to stay at Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria, before denying him access to medical attention.
Security details reportedly had to use force before taking the vice president to Netcare Hospital, where she later allegedly removed an intravenous set and a catheter that were said to be sustaining Chiwenga’s life. The general is said to have bled profusely.
Prosecutors claim that Marry was intercepted by security personnel while attempting to take Chiwenga out of the hospital ward. But Marry has said the claims and evidence by the State were “utterly useless”.
She said she was ill and that in that condition she could not have been in a position to drag a “whole army general” from a hospital bed as alleged by the State.
Marry also said that there was no report from the doctors who allegedly attended to Chiwenga and resuscitated him when she reportedly removed the intravenous set and the catheter. She also wondered why the attempted murder was not reported to the South African police in the first place. Daily News