COURT: Ex-minister Parirenyatwa’s bail conditions eased

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa on Friday successfully applied for adjustment of his reporting conditions saying he now needs more time at his private business.

Parirenyatwa, a medical doctor, is facing criminal abuse of office charges, an offence he was picked up for a few days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa dropped him from the cabinet.

“The accused has been reporting twice a week religiously, but he now applies that he reports once every Monday as he is now in private practice.

“He needs more time at his work place and we therefore pray that his reporting conditions be altered,” said his lawyer James Makiya.

Harare magistrate Elisha Singano ruled in Parirenyatwa’s favour meaning the former cabinet will now be reporting once every Monday at Harare’s Morris Depot anti-corruption division.

His case was remanded to November 20 for trial.

Zivanai Macharaga, a prosecutor from President Mnangagwa’s special anti-corruption unit, said Parirenyatwa’s trial is expected to run from 20 to 23 November without a break.

The ex-minister landed in the dock after he allegedly favoured a suspected relative with a top position at the State-owned National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm) while dismissing a duly appointed director.

Parirenyatwa is said to have appointed his relative, Newman Madzikwa, imposing him in an acting capacity in place of Flora Nancy Sifeku who was the parastatal’s substantive managing director.

Madzikwa was once employed by Natpharm as branch manager in Masvingo and was dismissed on September 3, 2009 for allegedly selling donated drugs to private institutions.

The complaint is the State being represented by Detective Assistant Inspector Nyahema who is also the investigating officer in the matter.

According to the State, on 04 June 2018, Parirenyatwa acted contrary and inconsistent with his duties as a public officer by directing Natpharm board chairman George Washaya to end Sifeku’s contract with Natpharm as managing director thereby showing disfavour to her.

The former minister further indicated that he required Sifeku’s services at the health ministry which he had headed since 2013.

Court heard that Sifeku was given an indefinite period to serve in the ministry.

In the same directive, Parirenyatwa allegedly showed favour to Madzikwa by imposing him as acting managing director at Natpharm with effect from 01 June 2018.

It is State’s case that the board implemented the minister’s directive by giving both Sifeku and Madzikwa six months contracts effectively from 1 June 2018 to 30 November 2018.

Parirenyatwa’s actions created a double dipping of Natpharm funds as the company was paying two salaries towards the managing directors’ position.

The State alleges the minister prejudiced Natpharm of $15 003.