Court told MDC Alliance’s Mamombe suffering from ‘racing thoughts’

By ZBC Reporter

MDC Alliance politician Joana Mamombe is suffering from “racing thoughts” and not in a position “to comprehend proceedings”, a Harare court heard this Wednesday.

Prosecutors immediately moved to have the former legislator examined by government doctors under the Mental Health Act.

Mamombe, who is jointly charged with Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, had been issued with an arrest warrant after failing to appear in court Tuesday over allegations of faking abduction claims in May this year.

The recalled legislator’s attorneys told court that Mamombe failed to appear before for trial on Tuesday because she was admitted at a city hospital receiving treatment for anxiety disorder.

Magistrate Bianca Makwande cancelled the warrant of arrest after Mamombe’s doctor, Dr Fungisai Mazhandu, testified that she admitted the former legislator to the health centre.

Dr Mazhandu saidshe has been treating Mamombe over the past five months.

“I last attended to her on Friday, September 11. She was at Borrowdale Halfway House according to staff that I am working with,” she said. 

The doctor added that Mamombe was suffering from racing thoughts that were making it difficult for her to concentrate, sleeping problems, palpitations, fatigue and anxiety disorder. 

State prosecutor Michael Reza then indicated he would make an application to have Mamombe examined by two government doctors

“Dr Mazhandu said another doctor may reach another finding since the symptoms do not necessary point to mental, but also physical condition,” he said.

The prosecutor also told court that he received video evidence from the investigating officer, which suggests that Mamombe might not be suffering from anxiety disorder, as she was captured on CCTV footage shopping in Harare city centre on the day she was alleged to have been hospitalised.

“Last night, I was advised by the investigating officer that they have evidence which seems to suggest she might not be suffering from the illness revealed in court,” he said. 

“The evidence is on a CCTV footage and the investigating officer has downloaded the evidence on a flash disk.

On the video, it shows that she was perfectly functioning and performing her normal duties and it was taken on September 4 when she was supposed to be in hospital. She was shopping.”

The magistrate turned down a request by the prosecutor to play the video, saying it was of no relevance in determining whether Mamombe was at hospital or not at the time she was supposed to appear in court.

The court said the video could be played on the day prosecutors make their mental examination application.

Mamombe is due back in court on September 22.