Women rights defenders are convening a virtual indaba tomorrow to deliberate on the continuous harassment and alleged abuse of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga's estranged wife, Marry Mubaiwa Chiwenga, by the former military boss.

Marry, who is facing charges of attempting to kill Chiwenga , has allegedly been blocked from receiving treatment outside Zimbabwe for a life threatening ailment by the VP after their marriage broke down.

A visibly sick Marry has been a subject of pity from across the political divide though Zanu-PF and government have chosen to remain mum on the issue insisting this was a private matter.

Marry says  President Emmerson Mnangagwa and first lady Auxillia have let her down by not intervening in the fight with her estranged husband.

She lost custody of her three minor children after Chiwenga, who also doubles up as Health and Child Care minister, appealed against an earlier judgement in her favour.

Chiwenga argued his ex-wife was not mentally fit and was a drug addict.

Human rights defenders have since organised  the virtual discussion under the Women's Academy for Leadership (Walpe) banner to debate the Marry "abuse" issue.

The discussion will feature known human rights defenders, including Margaret Mutsamvi (gender rights advocate, Sitabile Dewa (human rights defender), Samkeliso Tshuma (women's rights expert), Maxine Chisweto (a lawyer) and prominent author Tsitsi Dangarembga and will be hosted under the theme: Women's human rights are a yardstick of national progress: A case of Marry Chiwenga.

The rights' defenders have also started a #JusticeforMarry campaign to fight against the decision that denies her access to medical attention outside the country while her health continues to deteriorate.

Marry, who suffers from lymphoedema, has had her applications for release of her passport to seek medical attention outside the country dismissed by the courts.

The opposition MDC Alliance also weighed in on the Chiwenga has wife saga.

"The MDC Alliance assembly of women notes with concern the increased incidences of gender based violence that has become the hallmark of Mnangagwa's government.

"The most recent example of the regime's toxic culture of abusing women and weaponising the law against them is the harassment and torture of Marry Chiwenga, estranged wife of VP Chiwenga," MDC Alliance assembly of women spokesperson Barbara Tanyanyiwa said.

She said Mubaiwa was a victim of people settling political scores and that should not be tolerated as she continues to suffer.

Marry was on Friday remanded to tomorrow when the latest medical report on her mental state to stand trial will be presented in court.

She filed an application to stop her trial, saying she was not fit to stand trial citing ill-health.

Source - The Standard