Harare (New Ziana)-A Harare magistrate on Thursday granted the state request for Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to testify in camera in the case in which he is accusing his estranged wife Marry Mubaiwa of fraud, after she allegedly tried to upgrade their customary marriage by forging his signature.
On Monday the state applied for the court to exclude the public and the media from hearing the VP testifying, in order to protect his office.
Testimony given in camera requires the removal of all observers from the courtroom, leaving only the participants and the judge.
In camera is a Latin phrase meaning “in private” or “in chambers” and it is used in law to refer to proceedings conducted without public access.
Announcing the ruling, magistrate Lazini Ncube Ncube said: “The other part need to show the prejudice that will be suffered if the matter is heard in camera. The defence has a duty to put questions to the complainant, which was still going to happen if it was in an open court. The state has made it clear that it is the office of the complainant that needs to be protected. In this premises the application is hereby granted and it will therefore be heard in camera.”
VP Chiwenga’s estranged wife, Mubaiwa is facing allegations of fraud for lying that the VP consented to upgrading their marriage from customary to a civil one.
Mubaiwa faces separate charges of attempting to murder VP Chivenga, externalisation and money laundering.
In the attempted murder charge, she is accused of trying to kill her then gravely ill husband by unplugging life support tubes in a hospital ward in South Africa where he was admitted in 2020.