THE court case of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s wife, Marry Mubaiwa, has opened a can of worms amid indications that the former army commander was also demanding part of the properties his wife allegedly acquired in South Africa.
This was revealed during Mubaiwa’s first appearance in court on Monday following her arrest on Saturday for money laundering, externalisation and attempted murder of Chiwenga while he was in a South African hospital in June.
Chiwenga and Mubaiwa are undergoing a nasty divorce following allegations of attempted murder of the Vice-President by his estranged wife.
During the court appearance on Monday, Mubaiwa’s lawyer Taona Nyamakura of Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners asked the investigating officer, Victor Masimba of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, whether he was aware of the divorce processes or not, while hinting that the Vice-President was demanding part of the properties allegedly purchased illegally by Mubaiwa.
Mubaiwa was remanded in custody on both charges to December 30 by deputy Chief Magistrate Christen Mberewere. Prosecutor Michael Reza appeared for the State.
During cross-examination, Nyamakura hinted to the court that the Vice-President was fighting for part of the properties bought in South Africa by Mubaiwa which form part of the charges, a situation said to be contained in the court challenges in the Chiwenga-Mubaiwa divorce case.
“If the Vice-President is claiming (in the divorce case), would it be okay to say he is claiming proceeds of the crime?” Nyamakura asked.
According to the Zacc memo, Mubaiwa, named as chief executive of East Town Holdings and shareholder of a company called Tarnor Investments, externalised close to US$1 million by misrepresentations on proforma invoices before converting the money to personal use.
“During the period extending from October 2018 to May 2019, the accused would instruct Memory Chakuinga, who is the managing director of two South Africa-based companies namely Falcon Projects Pvt Ltd and Bonnette Electrical Pvt Ltd which are based in Pretoria, South Africa to raise proforma invoices for the purchases of either event tents, chairs and prepaid meters for consumption in Zimbabwe, when, in actual fact, the accused knew very well that after the funds were transferred to South Africa, she would then divert them for other personal purposes,” the memo read.
Allegations are that in February 2019, the accused instructed the same Chakuinga to come up with a proforma invoice for US$307 545,05 and diverted the funds to purchase a house in South Africa and was registered under LaChelle Travel and Tours.
She also allegedly diverted $142 858,93 meant for prepaid electric meters towards the purchase of a house.
“The former model also caused CBZ to transfer $142 858,93 to Bonnet Electrical Pty Ltd’s SA Standard bank account which was meant for the purchase of prepaid electric meters. In order to launder the externalised funds, she concealed or disguised the true nature of the source of the property by diverting the funds and further transferred it to Martin Portgietter Attorney Standard Bank Trust Account number 81327021 towards the purchase of a house, being house number 1309 Kingstone Heath Close, Waterkloof Gold Estate, Pretoria South Africa. The house was registered in the name of LaChelle Travel and Tours PTY Ltd where the accused is sole shareholder,” read the Zacc memo.
Mubaiwa also allegedly bought a Range Rover Autobiography, another Range Rover vehicle and a Ford Ranger using the externalised funds.