13 February 2019
David Parirenyatwa (centre)
THE trial of former Minister of Health and Child Care, David Parirenyatwa, in which he is facing abuse of office charges continued yesterday.
The State, led by Brian Vito, opened its case by calling the evidence of Dr George Pasipanodya Washaya who was the non-executive board chairman for NATPHARM during Parirenyatwa’s tenure as Minister.
Parirenyatwa stands accused of appointing Newman Madzikwa as Managing Director for NATPHARM without following due processes.
Washaya testified that Parirenyatwa gave a directive that the then managing director Flora Sifeku be transferred to the Ministry of Health and Child Care headquarters while Madzikwa became the managing director.
“Upon receipt of that letter from the ministry, Parirenyatwa gave a directive that the then managing director Flora Sifeku be transferred to the Ministry of Health and Child Care headquarters while Madzikwa became the MD.
“Upon receipt of that letter from the minister, I convened a board meeting and they demanded clarifications.
“We they interviewed him and he told us that he was once at NATPHARM and was dismissed that was when he went overseas to further his education,” said Washaya.
The witness further testified that after they interviewed Madzikwa, the board sought guidance from Dr Parirenyatwa on the conditions of the contract, which saw the board giving Madzikwa a six months contract giving it time to recruit a substantive MD.
When asked why the board didn’t exercise its power by refusing the appointment of Madzikwa, Dr Washaya said, “Dr Parirenyatwa did a lot for NATPHARM so we conceded to the decision because we knew it was in the interest of the growth of the organisation.
“He sourced $26 million debt for restocking medication in NATPHARM as well as land to build warehouses, he was very specific in his letter that he was acting that way because medication was critically low in hospitals and Madzikwa was a specialist in procurement, logistics and pharmaceuticals which the organisation was in dire need of,” said Washaya.
Harare regional magistrate Elijah Makomo presided over the matter.