Marry Mubaiwa’s defense team has called for her to be released for falsely claiming that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga agreed to a civil marriage, arguing that the state had failed to establish that an offense may have been committed.
If the Harare magistrate, Mr. Lazini Ncube, agrees, that will end the trial. If he disagrees, Mubaiwa will be put on his defense to see if the state’s case was strong enough to convict and the trial will continue until Mr Ncube delivers his verdict.
The state yesterday closed its case with Mubaiwa, through his attorney, Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, saying they would seek their release.
Written defense submissions will be filed on Friday with the state expected to respond on Wednesday next week before Mr. Ncube delivers judgment on February 4.
Mr Ncube yesterday rejected the state’s request to admit a statement from the late jeweller, Mr Michael Louizidis, who was allegedly ordered to make wedding rings by Mubaiwa.
In denying the request, Mr Ncube said admission of the statement would prejudice Mubaiwa as she would not be able to cross-examine a deceased person.
“Admitting the statement is prejudicial to the accused since the purpose of cross-examination is to gauge credibility,” he said.
It is alleged that in 2019, Mubaiwa made a false statement to former presiding judge Justice George Mutandwa Chiweshe that Vice President Chiwenga had consented to be married under the Marriage Act on July 2, 2019 at their Borrowdale Brook residence in Harare.
Mubaiwa allegedly submitted copies of their national identity documents to Judge Chiweshe without the knowledge and consent of the Vice President.
Justice Chiweshe then contacted the then Chief Magistrate, Munamato Mutevedzi, who is now a High Court Judge, to seek a magistrate to perform the marriage.
The Chief Magistrate has ordered that the necessary forms, including the marriage certificate form, be completed, as is often done before a wedding takes place, so that all that is needed on that day are the signatures of the couple, witnesses and the wedding official.
As Chief Magistrate, he was the highest-ranking wedding officer in the court system and decided to personally preside over the wedding ceremony as the wedding officer.
He is said to have been given national identity documents and when he saw that the passport size photos and addresses of the parties were not included, he contacted the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission, Mr Walter Chikwana, who in turn contacted Mubaiwa with the request to complete the paperwork.
Mubaiwa reportedly sent the requested items, which were then handed over to Mr. Chikwana, who forwarded them to the Chief Magistrate for the completion of the registration process.
When Mubaiwa was doing this, VP Chiwenga was seriously ill and had not consented to the marriage and did not want their marriage to be solemnized under the law, according to the state.
It is said that the marriage certificate MR No 0222402 has been prepared.
On June 22, 2019, the two traveled to South Africa where Vice President Chiwenga was to receive emergency medical treatment as he was critically ill.
It is said that on July 2, 2019, the Chief Magistrate as Marriage Officer traveled to Borrowdale Brook to solemnize the marriage with all the necessary paperwork for the marriage to take place, but was unsuccessful. to access the house.
Investigations revealed that in preparation for the wedding, Mubaiwa had already engaged Mr Louizidis from Alpha Jewelers in Newlands, Harare to make two white gold wedding rings with diamonds, according to the state.
Mubaiwa also reportedly informed her personal assistant Nyarai Bwanya of the wedding plans and asked her to prepare for the wedding ceremony.
It is said that on July 4, 2019, Judge Mutevedzi canceled the completed marriage certificate forms and marriage license applications as required by law to show that the marriage did not take place.