Temba Dube, Deputy News Editor
POLICE have arrested Ms Marry Mubaiwa (38) the estranged wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga for allegedly illegally externalising more than US$1 million in eight months and fraud where she allegedly plotted to solemnise a marriage between herself and the VP without his knowledge while he was bed-ridden.
Ms Mubaiwa was last seen in public about four months ago before the VP’s return from China where he received medical treatment.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) spokesperson Mr John Makamure yesterday confirmed Mubaiwa’s arrest and said she is likely to appear in court today.
“I am not yet privy to the circumstances but I can tell you she was arrested on Saturday for allegedly externalising currency and money laundering. I have not heard about the fraud case. I will have more details when I get to the office tomorrow,” said Mr Makamure.
However, a source within Zacc told The Chronicle that Ms Mubaiwa is facing six counts of exporting currency and money laundering involving more than US$1million that occurred between October last year and March this year.
The source said Ms Mubaiwa also allegedly tried to fraudulently obtain a marriage with VP Chiwenga. The two were customarily married and Ms Mubaiwa was allegedly seeking a Chapter 5: 11 marriage which is in community of property.
She allegedly externalised the forex through smuggling it out of the country or raising fake proforma invoices for the purchases of either event tents and chairs or prepaid household electrical meters.
“She would get forex from CBZ Bank and divert it to her personal use,” said the source.
Ms Mubaiwa allegedly bought and furnished a property in the uptown Heath Close, Waterkloof Golf Estate, Pretoria in South Africa.
She also allegedly bought two luxury Range Rover vehicles from the proceeds.
Zacc has reportedly instituted proceedings to recover the property that was bought with the externalised funds.
“On October 2018, Mubaiwa sent her driver Carrington Kazingizi and a Terrence Mutandwa to China with US$114 000 through Robert Mugabe International Airport without any declaration being made to the authorities which is in contravention of the Exchange Control Act, Chapter 22:05,” said the source.
“Sometime in November 2018, she instructed Ms Memory Chakuinga- who is the Managing Director of two South African based companies namely Falcon Projects Pvt Ltd and Bonnette Electrical Pvt Ltd which are based in Pretoria- to come up with a proforma invoice for the supply of event tents and chairs which were then sent to CBZ Bank and also to the accused. On 17 December 2018, the accused on the strength of the proforma invoice, caused CBZ Bank to transfer US$201 846-81 through Outgoing Telegraphic Transfer into Falcon Projects Suppliers Private Limited South African FNB Bank account number 62576755105.”
Instead of buying the tents, the source said, Ms Mubaiwa allegedly used the money to buy a Range Rover Autobiography registration number HW40JNGP, which she allegedly registered under her name.
The source said sometime in February 2019, she instructed Ms Chakuinga to raise another proforma invoice for the supply of prepaid household electric meters.
“On 4 February 2019, the invoice was sent to CBZ Bank and to the accused. On 13 February 2019 the accused caused CBZ Bank to transfer US$307 545 through Outgoing Telegraphic Transfer into Falcon Projects Suppliers Private Limited South African FNB Bank account number 62576755105,” said the source.
Ms Mubaiwa allegedly diverted the funds to buy a house, Number 1309 Kingstone Heath Close, Waterkloof Golf Estate, Pretoria, South Africa.
The source alleged Ms Mubaiwa registered the house under LaChelle Travel and Tours Pvt Ltd South Africa where she is the only Shareholder.
“Sometime between February and March 2019, Ms Mubaiwa gave a Ms Judith Gamuchirai Goredema US$230 769,23 for the purchase of a second Range Rover registration number HX61PSGP that she registered in South Africa under her name,” said the source.
The source said sometime in February and March this year, Ms Mubaiwa allegedly externalised US$36 923,08 which she used to buy furniture for the Pretoria home.
In May 2019, she allegedly instructed Ms Chakuinga to raise another proforma invoice for the supply of prepaid meters and got US$142 858,93 from CBZ Bank which she allegedly diverted into Martin Portgietter Attorney Trust Account number 081327021 domiciled at Standard Bank South Africa towards payment for the house in Pretoria.
In the fraud case, Ms Mubaiwa allegedly misrepresented to Judge President George Mutandwa Chiweshe that VP Chiwenga had consented to a marriage under the Marriage Act, Chapter 5:11.
She allegedly submitted copies of national identity documents of both parties to the Judge President Chiweshe without the knowledge and consent of the VP.
The Judge President contacted the Acting Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi who decided to preside over the wedding ceremony.
“The Acting Chief Magistrate however noticed that the passport size photos and address of the parties were not included. The items were later forwarded to him and acting on the misrepresentation, the marriage officer caused the completion of registration forms and the marriage certificates in preparation for the ceremony. When the accused was doing all this, complainant was bed ridden and not in a condition to consent to the marriage,” said the source.
“After the applications for special marriage licences were made, a duplicate original register MR No: 0222402 was prepared. On the Duplicate Original Register copy the marriage was between Constantino G.D.N. Chiwenga and Marry Mubaiwa. On the Register it was endorsed or indicated that the marriage was by own consent through the misrepresentation by the accused while VP Chiwenga, who is the complainant, had not consented. Investigations allegedly revealed Mubaiwa had already made an order for the manufacture of two diamond rings at a Jewellery Shop at Newlands Shopping Centre in Harare, which were delivered to her.
The VP is arguing that by such misrepresentation, Ms Mubaiwa caused prejudice to his good administration and reputation. — @TembaDube