BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
HARARE regional magistrate Elijah Makomo has dismissed an application for discharge filed by former Health minister, David Parirenyatwa, who is being charged with abuse of office for ordering the irregular appointment of Newman Madzikwa as the managing director of NatPharm.
Parirenyatwa, who is represented by James Makiya, had filed an application of discharge, saying there was no evidence in the case, saying the State had failed to prove essential elements to secure conviction.
The former minister said the evidence led by the State was so manifestly unreliable that no reasonable court could convict him. He said he was caught in a “blatant bias” against the perceived political opponents by the Executive.
But Makomo dismissed Parirenyatwa’s application, saying there were issues which he should answer for. Makomo said it was not disputable that Parirenyatwa wrote a letter to NatPharm chairperson George Washaya, instructing him to appoint Madzikwa as the managing director despite the fact that he was once dismissed by NatPharm for selling donated drugs. The magistrate said Parirenyatwa should explain that decision before the court.
The State, represented by Brian Vito opposed the application, saying Parirenyatwa favoured Madzikwa at the expense of NatPharm and Nancy Flora Sifeku, who was recalled to the ministry.
Makomo, in his ruling said, Parirenyatwa had ordered the appointment of Madzikwa against the NatPharm’s human resources policy which stipulates that an appointment should be made after public interviews. Makomo postponed the matter to February 27 for the defence case.