Questions have been raised on whether the Zimbabwean Courts can try Vice-president Constantino Chiwenga’s wife, Marry Chiwenga on attempted murder charges on a crime she committed in South Africa.
The attempted murder charge arises from when she accompanied her husband who had been airlifted to South Africa in July for urgent medical attention.
Marry Chiwenga allegedly refused to let him be admitted to hospital for 24 hours until security personnel insisted.
Whilst in South Africa, she then visited her husband in hospital, dismissed his security staff, and when alone with him allegedly removed the intravenous giving set and the central venous catheter.
A legal expert who spoke to state media under anonymity said the attempted murder case can legally be tried in Zimbabwe, although the offence was allegedly committed in South Africa.
“If the idea to kill started here in Zimbabwe before the complainant was removed from Zimbabwe to South Africa, our courts will have jurisdiction to hear the case,” said the lawyer.
“Again, the law says if the offence has an effect on Zimbabwe, it can be tried by the local courts.”
The Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act reads: “A person may be tried, convicted and punished for a crime, whether in terms of this Code or any other enactment, where the crime or an essential element of the crime was:
(a) committed wholly inside Zimbabwe; or
(b) committed partly outside Zimbabwe, if the conduct that completed the crime took place inside Zimbabwe; or
(c) committed wholly or partly outside Zimbabwe, if the crime:
(i) is a crime against public security in Zimbabwe or against the safety of the State of Zimbabwe;
or (ii) is a crime which has produced a harmful effect in Zimbabwe; or
was intended to produce a harmful effect in Zimbabwe;
or was committed with the realisation that there was a real risk or possibility that it might produce a harmful effect in Zimbabwe.”
If Marry Chiwenga is convicted of attempted murder, the maximum penalty provided for in the Act is life imprisonment depending on the circumstances.