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Prosecutor demands audio in NatPharm boss case

By Shamiso Dzingire

The State has applied to have an unscheduled witness testify in the trial of National Pharmaceuticals (NatPharm) acting manager Newman Madzikwa who is facing charges of abuse of office.

File picture of Harare Magistrates Court
File picture of Harare Magistrates Court

Madzikwa allegedly hiked drug handling fees by 11 percent and corruptly awarded a $10 million tender to a Danish medicines’ supplier.

Yesterday, prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga applied that the minutes taker, Suzana Nonsikelelo Shara testify after he discovered that the September 3, 2018 meeting where Madzikwa hiked the drug handling fares was recorded on audio.

Five State witnesses have already testified in the case, and an inspection-in-loco was carried out where Macharaga said “he stumbled upon the evidence” and requested the investigation officer to record Suzanna’s statement before serving it to the defence.

He said while they have no right to call an additional witness who was not lined up, there were exceptional circumstances that warrant the application.

“The evidence could not be availed at the commencement of trial and the witness was not known. The State stumbled on the recording during the inspection-in-loco and an IT personnel confirmed that the meeting was recorded,” he said.

The existence of the minutes were never made known to the State and ignored. The audio might lead the court to a just decision and may exonerate the accused person,” he added.

Through his lawyer Harrison Nkomo, Madzikwa opposed the application and accused Macharaga of playing the role of an investigative prosecutor. DailyNews