By Crime and Courts
Marry Mubaiwa’s application to be removed from remand over charges of attempting to kill Vice President Constantino Chiwenga while he was in a hospital in South Africa was dismissed Monday
Harare regional magistrate Stanford Mambanje pressed the State to conclude investigations.
Mubaiwa is charged with attempted murder and externalising foreign currency.
Monday, Mubaiwa through lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, opposed the State’s application for a further postponement of the matter on the grounds that there were extra-territorial investigations in South Africa.
Ms Mtetwa argued that it has been 15 months since Mubaiwa has been attending court with the State failing to complete its investigations although the State had promised to complete investigations within a month from the date of their initial appearance in court.
“It is now over 15 months and they are failing to get information.
“This excuse has been given over 15 months. State can proceed by way of summons, as it will not suffer any prejudice,” said Ms Mtetwa.
An accused on remand has to attend court regularly and is either on bail or remanded in custody, with conditions normally attached to bail.
If they are removed from remand they are at complete liberty, but the State may then summon them for trial at any time, and they would face arrest if they did not turn up.
However, the summons would be for the first day of the trial, not any preliminary remand hearing.
Mrs Netsai Mushayabasa, appearing for the State, told the court that the investigations were complex, as they involve two countries. Covid-19 lockdowns contributed to the delays in the completion of investigations.
“The court should take judicial notice that extra-territorial investigations involve Interpol and communication between countries.
“It is not an easy process and between these 15 months there has been lockdown which affected the movement of officers in the country, that is, between March and August last year and another lockdown was imposed in 2021 between January and March,” she said.
In his ruling Mr Mambanje allowed the postponement and tasked the State to make a follow-up into the investigations.