Human rights advocates under the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe banner have petitioned Parliament to intervene in the alleged ill-treatment of Marry Mubaiwa, the former wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, and dated 25 April 2022, ROHR Zimbabwe UK Chapter secretary, Alvina Chibhamu, said Marry’s case typifies “lawfare” being waged against an individual by State institutions that have been captured by the elite. Read the letter:
RE: THE MATTER OF MARRY MUBAIWA – CHIWENGA
We are Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe. We advocate for human rights with a particular focus on Zimbabwe.
We write to your August House with regards to the apparently continued persecution of Marry MubaiwaChiwenga, which, in our view is a typical case of “lawfare” waged against a citizen by a State whose institutions are captured by an elite few.
We are concerned about Mubaiwa-Chiwenga’s health condition and how she is being denied the opportunity to travel and seek medical assistance outside Zimbabwe.
We are also concerned about her being denied access to her children and vice-versa.
Marry is gravely ill with lymphoedema among a slew of other ailments. Her condition is life-threatening. She is now hospitalised.
A report from Dr John S Nyahunzvi dated 29 March 2022 indicates that amputation of her forearm is now necessary once she is deemed medically stable.
Marry has not been well since 2018 and she was getting medical treatment in South Africa.
Marry was arrested in 2019 and she has since been denied the opportunity to seek medical attention outside Zimbabwe whilst her condition continues to deteriorate.
Marry is being dragged before the Courts despite being very ill.
She has collapsed twice outside the Court but the Court has shown no compassion towards her health predicament.
In contrast, Prisca Mupfumira a former government minister who was implicated in the looting of US$95M of state funds was given permission to not attend court because she said she was not mentally fit to attend court and was even granted permission to travel abroad on a business trip. The double standards are so glaring.
This is such a glaring case of abuse of power against a mother and, by extension, her innocent children.
After years of a near defunct healthcare system, senior government officials including Marry’s own ex-husband Chiwenga frequently travel abroad for treatment.
Clearly, the healthcare facilities in Zimbabwe are inadequate for Marry’s needs and yet she is still being denied the same opportunity to travel abroad to seek medical attention.
This is despite the courts being advised by medical professionals in 2020 that failure to access specialist treatment would have dire consequences for Marry. The specialists’ advice was ignored.
Now Marry will experience those consequences as it has now been recommended that her forearm be amputated.
The refusal to allow Marry to travel for treatment outside Zimbabwe is a violation of Section 76 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Marry is being deprived of her Right to Health care.
Marry has also been denied access to her children since 2019.
At some point, the law was rationally applied by the High court and Marry was allowed to see her children, but her estranged husband VP Chiwenga appealed to the Supreme Court several times and irrationally “won” against all odds.
He has succeeded in preventing Marry from seeing her children. He has also prevailed in indirectly preventing Marry from seeking medical attention outside Zimbabwe.
On the one hand, Marry is being denied her right to be a mother; on the other hand, her children are being denied their right to family life as a result of decisions by the Supreme Court, presumably influenced by the Vice President.
The situation is coming across as if Vice President Chiwenga and the government are using Marry’s situation as a weapon against citizens and especially women.
This, in our opinion, is unacceptable in a civilized society.
According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, several of Marry’s and her children’s basic human rights are being violated repeatedly and this has gone unchallenged for years on end. These include Sections:
49. Right to personal liberty 51. Right to human dignity 53. Right to Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 69. Right to a fair hearing 76. Right to healthcare 80. Rights of women 81. Rights of children
We are appealing for this matter to be heard and deliberated in Parliament with a view to finding an appropriate intervention.
Alvina Chibhamu Secretary – (ROHR Zimbabwe) UK Chapter