BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The State yesterday moved to declare its witness, George Washaya, as hostile for siding with former Health minister David Parirenyatwa in his decision to relieve NatPharm managing director Flora Sifeku from her position.
Washaya, who was testifying before deputy chief magistrate Elijah Makomo, yesterday disowned his statement, which was recorded by the police.
The witness told the court that he took Parirenyatwa’s directives as a collective decision by the ministry and not an individual directive.
He said the former Health minister wanted the good of NatPharm because the company, under Sifeku, was failing to reach the 100 days goal set by the new dispensation.
Washaya said he erred when he signed the minutes and statement without consulting his lawyer, saying he did not know that what he was doing had legal implications.
He further referred to Parirenyatwa as the best minister ever, but prosecutor Brian Vito labelled his testimony as assumptions which were not backed by facts.
Washaya, however, continued to defend Parirenyatwa, saying he did nothing wrong and that he did a lot for the board for it to doubt his opinion.
The prosecutor then asked the court to impeach the witness, saying he was siding with the accused person, but Parirenyatwa’s lawyer, advocate Deepak Mehta, said the witness was speaking the truth and the State must not force him to lie to the court.
Makomo postponed the matter to April 25 for the ruling on the application.
According to the State, on June 4 this year, Parirenyatwa acted contrary and inconsistent with his duties as a public officer by directing Washaya to end Sifeku’s contract with NatPharm as managing director, in the process showing disfavour to her.