Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
The Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi has ordered the stopping of the ongoing trial of former minister of Health and Child Care David Parirenyatwa, a Harare court has heard.
Parirenyatwa is accused of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly directed former National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm) board chairperson George Washaya to terminate Flora Nancy Sifeku’s contract and replace her with Newman Madzikwa.
Special unit prosecutor Brian Vito sought a postponement of two weeks to the matter advising the court that Prosecutor General Hodzi gave an instruction for the matter to be placed on hold.
This follows after the State impeached its own star witness former Natpharm board chairman Dr George Washaya after he exonerated Parirenyatwa causing the State to consider withdrawing the charges.
The former Natpharm board chairman exonerated Parirenyatwa saying he acted in accordance to the situation that was prevailing at Natpharm.
The witness Dr Washaya through re-examination by prosecutor Vito told the court that there was nothing wrong with the ex-minister transferring Natpharm board director Flora Sifeku replacing him with a better qualified and younger Newman Madzikwa.
Washaya further told the court that he was convinced that it was the best decision as there were low stocks of medicines in hospitals, yet the new dispensation was demanding change in hospitals so it was a collective decision of the minister and the board, contrary to the States allegations that Parirenyatwa employed Madzikwa fraudulently and independent from the board.
“Sifeku has worked for 12 years more than the required 10 years yet she was not acting in accordance to the situation at that time, the board accepted her dismissal as suggested by the minister because the circumstances were not normal” said Washaya.
The matter was remanded to August 26.