HARARE – Marry Mubaiwa is at serious risk of having at least one of her arms amputated after failing to receive the medical treatment she needs to treat her lymphedema, a court heard on Tuesday.
The Harare District Court was made aware of this when Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s 40-year-old ex-wife requested a postponement of her trial for allegedly falsifying a marriage certificate.
Her lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, said she was in no condition to stand trial and pointed to heavy medication she was taking which she said would put her mental health at risk.
She said Mubaiwa had been denied access to specialist treatment in South Africa and as a result her condition continued to deteriorate.
“She might end up having an amputation because none of the medications she’s taking are working well,” Mtetwa said.
Mtetwa said Mubaiwa – who also faces a range of other charges including assault, fraud, money laundering and the attempted murder of Chiwenga – underwent a skin graft three weeks ago to repair tissue damage in his arms.
The trial was due to start before Judge Lazini Ncube in Harare but was temporarily torpedoed by Mubaiwa’s request for a postponement.
Supreme Court Justice George Chiweshe was called as the state’s first witness in the fraud and forgery case, but was excused and said he would be called when a new trial date was set .
Mtetwa called a doctor, who put Mubaiwa’s medical report on the witness stand to explain his condition.
Doctor Simukai Machawira, a cardiovascular surgeon at Parirenyatwa Hospital, said that when the clinical director asked her to see Mubaiwa, she had “impaired lymphatic return which caused her limbs to swell”.
Muchawira said the former model is currently taking six medications for mental changes.
She has had upper extremity pain, migraines, lower back pain and frequent collapses for two years. Mubaiwa also has stiffness in her left hand such that “fingers no longer open”.
Macawira said the first type of medication changed the feeling in his numb hand.
Mtetwa said his research shows the drug is used alongside other strong painkillers.
Mubaiwa, the doctor said, also uses painkillers, migraine painkillers which also work as antidepressants, sleeping pills or tranquilizers, cleansers or detoxifiers and pills which lower his blood pressure.
His condition is painful and needs medication to help him.
According to Macawira, the finger deformity is the result of capacity gaps in his treatment on the spot.
Mubaiwa’s request for treatment in South Africa has been rejected by a court and her legal team accuses Chiwenga of interfering with the legal process.
The doctor said that Mubaiwa’s limbs were hurting her due to nerve damage.
Mtabout asked if the drugs made her mentally unfit for trial.
“It can alter the mental state…but someone doing a mental exam can make that decision,” the doctor said.
Prosecutor Michael Reza questions the motion to postpone the trial. Reza said it was “strange” that Mubaiwa, the daughter of former Dynamos chairman Kenny Mubaiwa, now only deals with mental health issues.
“It’s a classic case of afterthought,” Reza said.
Macawira said it’s possible she overlooked this and focused on her physical injuries.
Reza insisted that Mubaiwa, who is going through an acrimonious divorce from Chiwenga, should have spoken to the doctor about his mental state in the first place.
The prosecutor also said that Mubaiwa took the drugs at night, which means she is stable and normal when she wakes up.
Mtetwa said in his closing remarks that you have to be mentally fit to be judged. She said Dr. Muchawira’s report did not attempt to establish her mental state in order to be judged, but that does not mean she is fine.
The judge will decide on Friday.