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Parirenyatwa trial hits snag

By Prosper Dembedza

The trial of former Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa on charges of criminal abuse of office yesterday hit a brick wall after presiding magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo failed to report for duty.

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

Prosecutor Mr Brian Vito sought a postponement of the matter before Harare regional magistrate Mr Trynos Utahwashe.

Mr Utahwashe deferred the matter to July 17 for trial continuation. Allegations are that Parirenyatwa abused his position as a public officer and directed National Pharmaceutical Company of Zimbabwe (NatPharm) board chairperson Dr George Washaya to terminate the contract of Ms Flora Sifeku as managing director, allegedly showing favour to Mr Newman Madzikwa, who had once been sacked from the company for selling donated drugs.

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At the time he was fired in September 2009, Mr Madzikwa was NatPharm’s Masvingo branch manager.

The indictment revealed that Parirenyatwa had indicated that he required Ms Sifeku’s services at the ministry’s head office for an indefinite period.

The board, it is alleged, complied with Parirenyatwa’s directive and gave Ms Sifeku and Mr Madzikwa six months’ contracts each as managing directors. It is alleged that Parirenyatwa’s conduct created double dipping on NatPharm funds as the company was paying two salaries towards the managing director’s position thereby prejudicing it of a total of $30 006.

The State further alleges that Parirenyatwa’s actions were prejudicial to the good administration of NatPharm and the Ministry of Health and Child Care. The Herald