HARARE – Marry Mubaiwa, the ex-wife of vice president Constantino Chiwenga avoided jail on Thursday when she was handed a wholly-suspended 12-month sentence after being convicted of misrepresentation.
Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube also ordered the 40-year-old former model to pay a fine of Z$60,000 within six months.
Following a full trial, Ncube convicted Mubaiwa on Wednesday on charges that she fraudulently sought to upgrade her marriage to Chiwenga while he was battling illness.
Her defence lawyers said the trial was a sham.
Handing down the sentence, Ncube said: “The accused is not in good health as she is always seen with an aide. She is a first offender and will not cause harm to society.
“She deserves a second chance. Community service for her won’t work because of her health.”
Mubaiwa was accused of approaching a judge and then a magistrate to solemnise her marriage during a small ceremony at the family home in Borrowdale in April 2019.
When magistrate Munacho Mutevedzi, now a High Court judge, went to the house, he was denied entry by security.
Mubaiwa insisted that there was an agreement with Chiwenga to upgrade their customary union to a civil marriage.
Currently hospitalised, Mubaiwa faces further charges of money laundering, assault, fraud and the attempted murder of her ex-husband in a South African hospital in 2019. She denies the charges.