VOCAL Zimbabwean civil society activists and organisations based outside the country say the country has let down Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s ex-wife Marry Mubaiwa by remaining silent while her right to medical care is being violated.
The former top model is in critical condition and being tossed around the courts in a spectacle described by observers as heart-rending, cruel and unacceptable.
Local organisations have remained quiet on the matter, fearing retribution from the powerful Vice-President, a former military commander who has also been accused of blocking Mubaiwa’s access to her children.
The Mubaiwa family has tried everything, including engaging Chiwenga on the matter, to ensure she gets her passport, but in vain.
The Restoration for Human Rights (ROHR) in the United Kingdom recently wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene and facilitate that his deputy’s former wife be afforded an opportunity to travel for medical care outside the country as her health condition continues deteriorating.
Activists also weighed in, saying it cannot remain business as usual while Mubaiwa is suffering.
“It’s not business as usual when Marry’s condition continues to deteriorate,” human rights activist Vongayi Mufara told The NewsHawks this week.
“I am not going to wake up one day and wish I had spoken out. It’s depressing to see the extent to which our courts are captured and one will wonder if Marry will ever get justice for the way our courts and VP is treating her.”
She said Mubaiwa was being used as a weapon to intimidate those who may want to criticize the regime.
“As an activist, it is my duty to raise awareness and advocate for Marry to see her children and to be allowed to get medical treatment outside Zimbabwe because we all know that our health system has collapsed,” she added.
She said it was disheartening to see Mubaiwa in such a state while women and human rights organisation turn a blind eye.
A video that went viral last week showed how Mubaiwa’s health condition has became dire.
Mubaiwa was last week issued with a warrant of arrest after failing to attend court due to ill-health.
This week, Mubaiwa appeared in court in a wheelchair to face attempted murder charges with Harare magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka later cancelling the warrant.
Mubaiwa is accused of attempting to kill Chiwenga while he was hospitalised in a South African hospital.
Her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa broke down last week after the Harare court issued a warrant of arrest after Mubaiwa failed to get into the courtroom due to ill-health that has seen her wetting herself.
The RORH also wrote to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda in a desperate attempt to find a solution to Mubaiwa’s situation, but has not received feedback.
Sources said the organisation was asked by the Mubaiwas not to pursue the matter as the family is pursuing dialogue to help the situation.
The human rights defenders also petitioned First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, the Southern African Development Community, the United Nations Women and several other institutions to stop what they see as the flagrant violation of her rights.
Mubaiwa has been unwell since the deadly 2018 White City Stadium grenade blast in Bulawayo and, according to a medical report by specialist trauma and orthopaedic surgeon John Nyahunzvi, the former top model was on post-revision surgery for a right humerus shaft refracture and her condition was critical.
In April, Nyahunzvi said her condition has necessitated hospitalisation and stabilisation with a plan for emergent right high above elbow amputation as soon a she is deemed medically stable.
Mubaiwa was convicted for violating the Marriages Act after lying that her former husband had consented to solemnise their wedding while he was receiving medical care in India.
She was slapped with a wholly suspended one-year sentence and ordered to pay a ZW$60 000 fine by magistrate Lazini Ncube who also felt she would be unable to perform community service due to ill-health. Mubaiwa’s family last week said they were losing hope as the former top model is in urgent need of her passport to seek medical attention abroad.
“Grave injustice is being perpetrated against Marry and, if we do not act now, she will lose her life,” the Restoration for Human Rights said in a petition to Mnangagwa.
“If you are not careful, Marry’s matter will rank very high amongst those that will define your legacy. Is such a glaring case of abuse of power against a mother and, by extension, her innocent children, what you want to be remembered for?”
“Marry’s case is one of the most despicable human rights violations to happen under the ‘new dispensation’.”
The human rights organisation also said the First Lady must use her influence to demand justice for Mubaiwa at a time women’s groups in Zimbabwe have remained quiet as they are evidently afraid of Chiwenga.
“The mission of your (Angel of Hope) foundation is to provide access to healthcare. Why are you not advocating for Marry to have access to medical treatment either in Zimbabwe or outside the country?” a letter to Auxillia Mnangagwa reads.
“What message are you sending to the nation? Are you saying it is okay for women to be treated like this?”
“We look forward to your intervention, mother. You cannot just ignore such a glaring case of abuse and neglect,” the organisation wrote.Post published in: Featured