Nyore Madzianike-Senior Court Reporter
HARARE magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube is today expected to make a ruling on whether Marry Mubaiwa’s trial on criminal charges will commence after two medical practitioners gave conflicting explanations on her health status.
Mr Ncube was supposed to make a determination yesterday afternoon, but failed because of electricity outages that affected recording facilities. at the Harare Magistrates Court.
There is no electricity back-up at the Harare Magistrates Court.
Dr Charles Nyamukachi, head physician at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, told the court that he examined Mubaiwa on November 4 and noted that she was fully alert and her level of concentration was normal.
“I was called by the clinical doctor to do a physical examination.
“On November 4, I examined 40-year-old Marry Mubaiwa and she was fully alert, oriented in time, person and place,” he said.
Dr Nyamukachi said most of the things he examined, including breathing, were normal although he noted that her hypertension was high.
He said the level of Mubaiwa’s hypertension could not deter her from fully comprehending trial proceedings.
Head of the psychiatric department at the same referral institution, Dr Fungisai Mazhandu, told the court that Mubaiwa was suffering from depression and anxiety.
“She is not currently able to stand trial. At the time that I saw her, she had difficulties in concentration.
“She cannot fully follow and participate in court proceedings.
“It is my opinion that Marry Mubaiwa has a mental disorder and is not able to stand trial,” she said.
Asked by Mr Ncube whether Mubaiwa was a mental patient or not, Dr Mazhandu replied: “Currently, she has a mental disorder”.
Asked on what could have caused the depression and anxiety, Dr Mazhandu said: “The separation from her children and physical illness”.
Faced with two conflicting explanations from the two doctors, the State led by Mr Michael Reza then applied that Mubaiwa be medically examined by two Government doctors on whether she is fit to stand trial or not.
Mubaiwa, through her lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, opposed the State’s application and applied for temporary release of her passport for two months.
Ms Mtetwa also applied for temporary relaxation of her bail conditions to allow her to travel to South Africa and India to seek medical attention.
“The doctor said depressive disorder is caused by various issues which include separation from her children and illness.
“This has resulted in her taking medication which is specifically for that disorder. That does not call for examination under the Mental Health Act because why she is depressed calls for removal of reasons that put her in that state.
“We apply that the court releases her passport to allow her to access medical attention she badly needs. The key to unlocking her capacity is to agree to release her passport and travel to South Africa for medication and relax bail conditions. She needs two months to seek medical attention,” she said.
Ms Mtetwa said issues to do with children were being dealt with at the High Court.