Marry Mubaiwa assault trial postponed 15 times

Source: Marry Mubaiwa assault trial postponed 15 times | The Herald

Marry Mubaiwa assault trial postponed 15 times
Marry Mubaiwa

Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter

THE trial of Marry Mubaiwa on charges of assaulting a family maid, postponed more than 15 times since it was due to start two years ago, was yesterday postponed yet again, this time because defence lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa had to undergo emergency surgery last week.

Harare magistrate Mrs Learnmore Mapiye, while accepting the need for yet another postponement, made it clear that the fortnight she was granting was ample time for another lawyer, perhaps from Ms Mtetwa’s law firm, to be brought up to speed to take over the defence when the trial finally starts on March 16 if Ms Mtetwa is still unwell.

Prosecutor Mrs Netsai Mushayabasa told the court that the trial had already been postponed 15 times at the instance of the defence since it was supposed to open almost exactly two years ago on March 23, 2020. There had also been two postponements at the request of the State.

Mrs Mushayabasa expressed the State’s concern while opposing Mubaiwa’s request for yet another postponement of the trial.

“The defence asked for postponement on medical grounds with accused saying she was not able to stand trial.”

Mrs Mushayabasa said Mubaiwa’s request for a medical deferment of the trial spilt into last year, as she continuously sought for postponement.

“On September 6, 2021 she was issued with a court order to be examined by a medical superintendent at Parirenyatwa.

“The matter was remanded to October 6, 2021 and medical report was filed saying she was fit to stand trial.

“Trial did not commence as defence challenged the opinion of medical doctor,” she said.

Mrs Mushayabasa said that she is surprised by Mubaiwa’s continuous requests for postponement in the assault matter when she is awaiting judgment in another case she is accused of misrepresenting that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga had consented to solemnise their wedding at a time he was hospitalised.

The State said Mubaiwa’s actions were against the dictates of a fair public hearing.

“It has been two years and complainants keep coming to court. They are experiencing expenses in court and they are abandoning their other duties to come to court,” she said.

Mrs Mushayabasa said Mubaiwa can find for another lawyer to represent her in the matter.

Mubaiwa, through lawyer Mr Ryan Sitotombe, who was standing in yesterday for Ms Mtetwa, had applied for postponement of the matter to April 25.

Mr Sitotombe told the court that Ms Mtetwa went through emergency surgery on Tuesday last week and was not fit to be in court.

“Ms Mtetwa indicated that she was not feeling well and this was evident in the eyes of the court and in the eyes of everyone when this matter last came to court.

“Regrettably, the situation turned worse and an emergency operation was done on February 22.

“As it stands, she is at home recovering from the operation and she will be going for review next week,” he said.

Magistrate Mrs Mapiye, in her ruling, gave Mubaiwa turned down the request for a postponement to April 25 but gave Mubaiwa two weeks to prepare for trial saying she could look for another lawyer, even from Ms Mtetwa’s law firm, to appear in court for trial.

So now the trial is set for March 16, 103 weeks after it was supposed to start.

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