The attempted murder trial of Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife, Mary Mubaiwa, has taken a new turn as key witnesses give contradicting statements that could potentially compromise the prosecution’s case.
Mubaiwa is accused of attempting to kill the former defence forces chief in 2019 while he was hospitalized in South Africa. Vice President Chiwenga is among the witnesses lined up to testify against her.
Chiwenga’s aide, Warren Sibanda, who testified first, claimed that Mubaiwa forcefully removed intravenous tubes from her husband and that he had to wash the blood-stained t-shirt the army general was wearing. However, during the latest hearing, the third witness, Sergeant Andrew Mugari, stated that he was the one who washed the t-shirt.
Mugari, who was part of the security team assigned to the vice president in South Africa, was challenged by defense attorney Beatrice Mtetwa as to why they had washed a crucial exhibit in the criminal proceedings. He claimed that he was instructed by Mubaiwa to wash the t-shirt and that he saw blood stains on the right side of it.
Mtetwa further questioned Mugari on why Sibanda had testified differently, to which Mugari responded, “I don’t know if he was lying when he said he was the one who took the t-shirt. Maybe he took it from the bathroom and put it on the bed. It wasn’t hidden; but I’m the one who washed the t-shirt.”
The case has been postponed to April 25, following the completion of Mtetwa’s cross-examination of Mugari. The inconsistencies in the witness statements could jeopardize the prosecution’s case against Mubaiwa, who denies the charges.