HARARE – Embattled former model Marry Mubaiwa, facing trial over a slew of alleged crimes, has hired Harrison Nkomo as her new attorney after Beatrice Mtetwa Thursday abruptly opted out citing continued frustrations over alleged bias by the trial court.
Mubaiwa is in the middle of a marathon trial for allegedly trying to kill her former husband and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga when the retired military boss lay hospitalised in South Africa 2019.
Mtetwa was forced to renounce agency after presiding magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka had turned down her request to postpone Mubaiwa’s trial after she had presented to the court that her client, battling poor health, had undergone surgery and was unwell to stand trial.
The magistrate declined and demanded evidence prompting the fiery top attorney to storm out of court leaving Mubaiwa to face the court on her own.
A shocked Mubaiwa said she would comply with the court’s directives when asked about her new plans.
On Friday, the amputee returned to tell the court she had hired a new lawyer.
Nkomo was however not in court at the time.
Mubaiwa told the magistrate her new lawyer needed time to familiarise with details of the long trial.
She also presented a medical affidavit as proof she had undergone another operation on her leg.
The magistrate gave Nkomo a week to familiarise himself with the case before trial resumption.
“The court had sight of the medical proof and the doctor did indicate that she had a minor operation although there is no mention of whether she is well enough to follow proceedings.
“However, that has been overtaken by events as the accused has engaged a new legal practitioner; so in casu, since it is mid trial, the said legal practitioner should be given time to prepare for the trial. In light of that the trial is postponed to 7 November,” ruled the magistrate.
Court declined Mubaiwa’s request for postponement to 16 November.
Chakanyuka insisted trial needs to conclude.
“The trial commenced in February and has not concluded,” the magistrate said.
“Also there is a witness on the stand. He has been on the stand since September and we need to dispense with the witness.
“The court has no option but to defer the matter to the 7th.”
Former deputy health minister and doctor to Chiwenga, John Mangwiro, who has been on the stand is expected to continue giving his evidence on the next date.
Chiwenga, the key witness is also expected to testify before the state closes its case. – ZimLive