Marry bought US$15 000 wedding rings with cash meant for Chiwenga’s kids

by Tulip Charowa

THE case in which former fashion model Marry Mubaiwa is accused of fraudulently acquiring a marriage certificate without the consent of her husband Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga took a dramatic turn yesterday with four State witnesses testifying in court.

The State accuses Marry of attempting to fraudulently acquire a marriage certificate at a time when Chiwenga was hospitalised at a hospitals in India and then later on in South Africa.

Below is a roundup of what the four witnesses told Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube. Magistrate Ncube heard the testimonies while Tafara Chirambira and Netsai Mushayabasa appeared for the State, with Beatrice Mtetwa representing Marry.

1. Colonel Gesham Muradzi, Chiwenga’s aide

Colonel Gesham Muradzi, who was employed as an administrator in the Vice President’s Office during that time, was the first to testify in the case in which Mubaiwa is alleged to have misrepresented that Chiwenga had consented to a wedding with her.

Col Muradzi told the court that Mubaiwa called him while she was in India with Chiwenga and asked him to pay US$15 000 to a jeweller located at Newlands Shopping Centre in Harare for the wedding rings.

The US$15 000 was to be taken from the money Chiwenga had left with the colonel for covering issues at his farm and any emergencies with children while the couple was away.

“In 2019 they were in India when Honourable General CGD Chiwenga was not feeling well. She called me asking how much money I had in the office,” Col Muradzi told the court.

“I told her that I had US$23 000, which was left in my custody by Vice President Chiwenga. The money was for looking at affairs at his farm and his children during the time he would be away.

“She then asked me to take $15 000 and give brother Mike. She indicated that brother Mike from Alpha Jewellery will call me. I later phoned him to collect the money from the office.”

Col Muradzi said he had not spoken to Chiwenga as he was hospitalised.

He said after some days, he was then asked to go and collect “a parcel” from brother Mike, which he said was wrapped in an envelope.

“Whenever he leaves the country, he would give us instructions on how to use the money. In this case, he was not feeling well and could not talk. I was then instructed to go and collect parcels from brother Mike. It was now in July and they were now in South Africa,” he said.

Col Muradzi said he then collected the rings from one Devon Peter Steward, adding that he did not know whether Chiwenga did ask for a wedding from Marry’s family.

After collecting the rings, Col Muradzi said he was then instructed by Mubaiwa to hand them over to Carrington Kazingizi, their driver, who was travelling to South Africa.

2. Peter Stewart the jeweller

Devon Peter Steward, a jeweller at Newlands in Harare, also testified in the matter. Stewart told the court that he was given an order to make diamond and white gold rings for Mubaiwa and Chiwenga at his company sometime in June 2019.

Although he was not privy of details of who made the order for the rings, Stewart said the order came through his in-law and workmate only identified as brother Mike.

“I was given a job order to make the diamond and white gold. I do not know about the money that was paid as Mike was handling that. I was just given an order to make rings,” he said.

3. Kazingingizi, the driver and presidential security agent

Another witness, Carrington Kazingizi, who was employed as a driver for the Vice President’s family and also as a presidential security agent, said took the wedding rings to South Africa.

Upon arrival in South Africa, Kazingizi handed over the wedding rings to Mubaiwa.

Kazingizi said he was not aware of Mubaiwa’s wedding plans and never got the opportunity to talk to Chiwenga when he was seeking medication in South Africa.

“When the parcel got to me at the airport, I opened the envelope which contained two rings and took them to South Africa,” he said.

4. Linda the personal assistant

Victoria Falls magistrate Miss Linda Dzvene, who was the then personal assistant to former Chief Magistrate Justice Munamato Mutevedzi, also testified.

Linda said she was given some national identification particulars of Chiwenga and those of Mubaiwa by Justice Mutevedzi for her to fill in the marriage licence book and marriage certificate application form.

She confirmed that she was the one who completed the marriage licence book upon instructions from her boss.

Marry’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa then asked her to explain if she also filed her divorce certificate, of which Linda said she only used documents provided by Mutevedzi, adding that at that time, she was only a secretary who had no knowledge of the duties of a marriage officer.

Linda said she became a marriage officer and magistrate in February 2020 after completing her law degree in December 2019, adding that during filing of the documents, she never spoke to Marry.

“I wrote the marriage licence. Sometime in June 2019. Mr Mutevedzi came with IDs of Marry Mubaiwa and VP Chiwenga and I had instructions to record what was on the ID and filled the marriage licence book. What was left was signatures and their witnesses,” she said.

What’s next?

The matter continues today with four more State witnesses testifying.

Sources say Vice President Chiwenga will be the last witness to testify tomorrow after the State said it was only left with five witnesses that were lined up.

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