The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) have arrested the wife of the Vice President Marry Mubaiwa on charges of money laundering, fraud and violating exchange control regulations. Marry Mubaiwa was arrested on Saturday evening and will appear in court today.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has declined to give further details. Mrs Mubaiwa has made no comment.
Appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa this year, ZACC is under pressure to show that it can tackle high-level corruption, which watchdog Transparency International estimates is costing the country $1bn annually.
An internal ZACC memorandum of the charges showed that between October 2018 and May 2019 Marry Mubaiwa is accused of unlawfully transferring $919,000 to South Africa under the guise of importing goods, which it claims she never did.
The timing of Marry Mubaiwa’s arrest will likely raise eyebrows after local private media reported two weeks ago that she was going through a divorce with her husband the vice president.
The ZACC memo accused Mubaiwa of fraudulently obtaining a marriage certificate without Chiwenga’s consent earlier this year when the vice president was ill. The two have been married under Zimbabwe’s customary law since 2011 and have two children.
Vice President Chiwenga returned home last month after spending four months in China receiving medical treatment for a blocked oesophagus. He has not been seen with Marry Mubaiwa in public, including at the annual governing party conference that ended on Saturday.
Critics of ZACC say the agency is conflicted because its head judge, Loice Matanda-Moyo, is the wife of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo, a top ally of President Mnangagwa.