A Harare Magistrate has ruled that former Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parinenyatwa has a case to answer in the matter in which he is facing criminal abuse of office charges.
Magistrate Elijah Makomo revealed this while dismissing Parirenyatwa’s application for discharge after the State had closed its case.
Led by his lawyer Advocate Deepak Mehta who was instructed by James Makiya, Parirenyatwa had argued that the evidence led by the three witnesses was insufficient hence it warranted his acquittal but Magistrate Makomo ruled otherwise.
Magistrate Makomo ruled that the evidence led by the State was sufficient for Parirenyatwa to explain himself on how he acted as he allegedly directed NatPharm board chairperson Dr George Washaya to terminate the contract of Flora Sifeku as managing director, showing favour for Newman Madzikwa, who had once been fired for reportedly selling donated drugs.
“It is not seriously disputed that the accused wrote a directive for the secondment of Madzikwa, it is not in dispute that it was the sole mandate of the board and it is not in dispute that Madzikwa had once been fired for selling donated drugs. The accused had no authority to appoint Madzikwa.
“At this stage presumption has therefore arisen that when accused person acted, he acted contrary to his duties,” he ruled.
The court added that the fact that Dr Washaya was a hostile witness was of no value.
It was also ruled that the onus is now on Parirenyatwa to prove that when he acted, he was not showing favour to Madzikwa.
Parirenyatwa will be back in court for his defence case on February 27.