Mubaiwa family calls for mending of bridges with Chiwenga family…As High Court blasts magistrate

Chiwenga and wife Marry during happier times

The family of Marry Mubaiwa who is undergoing a divorce with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has reached out to the retired army general, saying they still need to sit down and consider how they can continue as one family.

Marry was released on ZWL$50,000 bail by the High Court yesterday after three weeks in prison over a number of charges including fraud, money laundering and attempted murder.

After the High Court ruling yesterday by Justice Pisirayi Kwenda, the Mubaiwa family represented by Hannington Mubaiwa called for mending of bridges with the Chiwenga family, saying the couple had children and it was in the best interests of the kids for the two families to sit down and map an amicable way forward.

The Mubaiwa family also thanked Zimbabweans for standing by them during the time their daughter was in custody.

Meanwhile, the High Court yesterday blasted the manner in which the magistrate had denied Mubaiwa bail.

“The appeal against the decision of Harare regional court, denying the appellant bail pending trial, is upheld and the decision of the lower court is hereby set aside,” Justice Kwenda ruled yesterday.

Mubaiwa also successfully applied for bail on charges of attempting to murder Vice President Chiwenga.

Justice Kwenda ordered Mubaiwa to surrender her diplomatic passport and title deeds to her Highlands home as surety.

She is required to report once a fortnight at Borrowdale Police Station, not to interfere with State witnesses and to reside at her Borrowdale Brooke mansion until the matter is finalised.

Granting Mubaiwa bail on both applications, Justice Kwenda castigated the lower court magistrate Mr Crispen Mberewere for making a decision influenced by policy considerations overriding the Constitution.

When he denied Mubaiwa bail, Mr Mberewere said the court should be alive to national policies that are relevant to the administration of justice and dealing with certain crimes.

He said a court dealing with anti-corruption matters must give voice to such national policies.

The State had opposed bail on the grounds that previously, suspects who were facing charges of corruption and granted bail and surrendered their passports still skipped the country.

Justice Kwenda rejected the trial magistrate’s view, saying the submission by the prosecution in the lower court, which was accepted and adopted by the court, constituted the kind of megaphone posturing not only misplaced and unfortunate, but which must be avoided by an officer of the court.

“It is not fair for a court official to mislead the public by blaming the bail system for the inertia in the fight against corruption,” he said.

“Accordingly, it is inappropriate for the State to argue for pre-trial incarceration as a matter of policy to deal with the problem of corruption,” said Justice Kwenda.

“Such a policy would be invalid due to inconsistency with the Constitution. The court a quo erred when it accepted the argument.”

Through her lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, instructed by Mr Taona Nyamakura, Mubaiwa appealed for bail, arguing the State would have no problems in extraditing her from South Africa in the event that she crossed the border into that country, since her properties were already known and identified.

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