Harare, (New Ziana)-The High Court on Tuesday reserved judgement in the case in which Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa are fighting for custody of their three children, and the latter’s access to the matrimonial home.
The couple are divorcing over a range of issues, including Mubaiwa’s alleged attempted murder of her husband while admitted gravely ill in a South African hospital last year.
The battle for the children’s custody is separate from a string of other court cases Mubaiwa is facing, for which she is out on bail.
She wants to be granted custody of the children, and to be allowed to live at the couple’s Borrowdale home awaiting trial, something VP Chiwenga vehemently opposes.
He has, instead, petitioned the court to allow him to retain custody of the children, alleging Mubaiwa was an unfit parent, citing, among other things, the children’s possible exposure to drug abuse if transferred to their mother.
The two parties made their submissions in the case on Tuesday to Justice Christopher Dube-Banda, who reserved judgment to a later date.
“We presented our case, just like they presented their case and we responded. Basically it covers issues to do with the children and the house where she thought she could reside at their matrimonial home. But the VP resides there and there are bail conditions which preclude her to interfere with witnesses and she cannot be allowed to do so,” VP Chiwenga’s lawyer, Manase Manase, said.
“Mind you there is an attempted murder charge in which the accused was said to have interfered with the life of the VP. So they cannot live together. But those are issues which will be discussed.”
“The judge at the end of the day decided to reserve judgement. That judgement will follow whenever the court is ready with it,” said Manase.
Mubaiwa’s lawyer, Taona Nyamakura, refused to give comment, saying “the matter is now sub judice.”
Apart from the attempted murder charge, Mubaiwa is also in court over allegations of fraud involving an attempt to upgrade her customary marriage to a civil one without the consent or knowledge of her husband, and money laundering and externalisation.