INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa had a torrid time in Parliament on Wednesday as she struggled to explain to legislators the reasons behind the continued persecution of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s ex-wife, Marry Mubaiwa, who is critically ill.
Last week, Mubaiwa was issued with a warrant of arrest after she was brought to court in an ambulance and failed to climb the stairs to the courtroom for her routine hearing.
She is battling life-threatening cancer which has severely disfigured her right arm and fingers due to limited blood supply.
The former model is being charged with the attempted murder of Chiwenga, while he was critically ill at a hospital in South Africa in 2019.
She is also accused of assaulting her former child minder, Delight Munyoro.
On Wednesday during the National Assembly question-and-answer session, Kuwadzana MP Johnson Matambo demanded that Mutsvangwa, who was acting leader of government business in Parliament, must explain government policy in terms of dragging very sick persons to court.
“We still see patients being dragged to answer criminal charges against them when they are in a bad state. Legally, a critically ill person or certified sick person cannot be brought to the courts. What is government policy regarding the rights of patients, for example, the case of Marry Mubaiwa-Chiwenga?” Munyoro asked Mutsvangwa.
The Information and Publicity minister shook her head before she gave her response.
“I hope I got the question right. Government policy when it comes to patients’ rights — whether they are bedridden or not is to make sure that all patients are taken good care of,” Mutsvangwa said.
Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) interjected fiercely saying Mutsvangwa failed to do justice to the question.
Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya said it would have been prudent for the courts to go to a bed-ridden person.
“When a person is critically ill, it is the courts that must go to the bed-ridden person? For instance, in the case of Marry Mubaiwa — was the court not supposed to go to her?” he asked.
Mutsvangwa could not immediately respond to the issue and she requested the question to be put in writing.
“Chikwinya is asking a specific question, of which he already knows the answer to it, and that is why I kindly ask him to put his question in writing,” she said.