Former Health Minister David Parirenyatwa arrested

It never rains but pours for the Parirenyatwa family. A few weeks after radio presenter Ruvheneko was fired on the instructions of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, her father, former Health Minister David Parirenyatwa has been arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office.

Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa
Former Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa

According to police sources who spoke to the ZimLive.com website, Parirenyatwa is currently being interviewed by detectives from the Serious Fraud Squad.

“He appointed a relative to head a hospital, while that relative was still employed by the National Pharmaceutical Company of Zimbabwe (NatPharm),” a police source told the website.

In his cabinet reshuffle last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa axed Parirenyatwa and replaced him with Obadiah Moyo, whose academic qualifications are being questioned in many quarters.

Parirenyatwa served as Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare until he was appointed as Minister of Health and Child Welfare in August 2002. He replaced Timothy Stamps, who was ill.

In October 2015, it was reported that Parirenyatwa was un-procedurally paid US $100,000 by Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) for his services as a medical doctor.

It was revealed that Parirenyatwa was well above his claims of patients he had seen at his surgery, which only amounted to $23 000. The minister was therefore overpaid $77,000 for services not rendered to the society. Parirenyatwa did not deny that he was overpaid.

He said: “This money would then be recovered through future claims to the insurer by the service provider. It is a common norm in the medical industry.” He did not, however, explain why other doctors were owed huge amounts of money by PSMAS for services actually provided.