Parirenyatwa seeks acquittal

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FORMER Health minister David Parirenyatwa has applied for discharge at the close of the State case on his criminal abuse of office charge.

Parirenyatwa is accused of corruptly directing Natpharm board chairperson George Washaya to end Flora Nancy Sifeku’s contract with the organisation as managing director in June last year replacing her with Newman Madzikwa.

He argued that the prosecution had failed to prove a case against him, adding that the ministry’s ex-permanent secretary — Gerald Gwinji — and National Pharmaceuticals board chair George Washaya, who were the State’s chief witnesses, concurred that no offence was committed.

In their evidence, Gwinji and Washaya said Parirenyatwa did everything above board and in full consultation with relevant authorities in the ministry.

“It will be thus submitted to the court that considering the blatant basis exhibited in prosecution of G40 members by the executive, that the clear absolving of any criminal intent by the State witnesses particularly Washaya and Gwinji there is no clear and credible evidence to implicate the accused person,” reads Parirenyatwa’s application.

“The evidence led by the State to prove that the accused person contravened section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) has not been met, even at this lower burden required at this stage.

“The conclusion which is urged on this court is to discharge him of any criminal sanction and to find him not guilty.”

Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya postponed the matter to February 14 to allow the State to respond to Parirenyatwa’s application and afford him time to travel to South Korea for a conference.

His passport was temporarily released.

Parirenyatwa’s trial commenced last February, with the State’s star witness, Washaya, disowning the statement he had given to the police and defended the ex-minister.

He testified that there was nothing wrong with Parirenyatwa replacing Sifeku with Madzikwa as the former was failing to meet the 100 days goals set by the new dispensation.

 Washaya also told the court it was the ministry’s decision to employ Madzikwa, adding that the board was in the process of retiring Sifeku who had served Natpharm for 12 years and was no longer effective.

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