MPs question minister on Marry Mubaiwa court ordeals
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa brazenly dodged a question from opposition MPs on Wednesday about whether it was appropriate for Zimbabwean courts to drag seriously ill defendants from hospital beds to be tried in the court buildings.
MPs Johnson Matambo and Settlement Chikwinya cited a case in which Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s ailing ex-wife Marry Mubaiwa was transferred between hospital and courts to stand trial for alleged attempted murder of her husband .
Mutsvangwa agreed that patients who faced criminal offenses should be treated humanely, but asked MPs to address Mubaiwa’s issue to the Minister of Health.
Coincidentally, the Minister of Health is Chiwenga, who is the plaintiff in the case.
Matambo had asked Mutsvangwa – as House Leader on Wednesday – “what is the policy regarding the rights of non-ambulatory and bedridden patients?
He added: “We still see patients who are still being dragged off to answer criminal charges brought against them when they are in poor condition. What is the government’s policy regarding patients’ rights, for example the case of Mary Mubaiwa-Chiwenga? »
Chikwinya also asked Mutsvangwa to clarify the government’s policy on whether seriously ill and bedridden defendants should be stretched for trial or whether the courts come to the person.
He also cited the case of Mubaiwa.
In his response, Mutsvangwa said patient rights issues “are important to us”, adding, “We don’t care where you are in the hospital or at home…”
Mutsvangwa said “Government policy is to ensure that patients’ rights are respected at all costs. If he has a specific question, it can be directed to the Ministry of Health.”
Mubaiwa’s apparent harassment by the courts prompted an angry protest from his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa who felt the courts were insensitive to her client’s plight.