Former Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa was hauled before the courts yesterday, charged with criminal abuse of office.
Parirenyatwa was at the helm of the Health ministry between 2013 and July this year.
He is one of the Zanu PF heavyweights dropped from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Cabinet last week.
Barely a week after losing his job to Obadiah Moyo, the State is now baying for his blood.
Parirenyatwa stands accused of interfering with and prejudicing the National Pharmaceutical Company of Zimbabwe (Natpharm) of $15 003.
Prosecutor Michael Reza alleged yesterday that on June 4, this year, Parirenyatwa acted contrary to his duties as a public officer by directing Natpharm board chairperson George Washaya to end Flora Nancy Sifeku’s contract with the organisation as managing director.
The court heard that by that action, which also saw Sifeku being moved to the ministry of Health, Parirenyatwa showed disfavour to the former Natpharm managing director.
It is alleged that Parirenyatwa then imposed the ministry’s deputy director (pharmaceutical services) Newman Madzikwa as acting managing director of Natpharm from June 1 this year.
The board implemented the directive by giving both Sifeku and Madzikwa six-month contracts, running from June 1 to November 30.
Madzikwa was once employed by Natpharm as branch manager Masvingo before he was dismissed on September 3, 2009 for selling donated drugs to private institutions.
According to State papers, Parirenyatwa’s conduct created a double dipping of Natpharm funds since two salaries were now being paid towards the managing director’s position.
The offence came to light through a tip-off on September 11, leading to Parirenyatwa’s arrest yesterday.
The State is in possession of correspondence written by Parirenyatwa to Washaya, copied to the Health ministry’s permanent secretary, major general Gerald Gwinji, directing the staff movements.
He was therefore charged with criminal abuse of office when he appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Elisha Singano yesterday.
His lawyer James Makiya advised the court that the ex-Cabinet minister was denying the charges.
Although the prosecution had consented to releasing Parirenyatwa on $1 000 bail, Singano reduced the quantum to $500, coupled with stringent conditions.
He was ordered to surrender his passport, not to interfere with witnesses and investigations, report twice a week at CID Anti-Corruption Unit Morris Depot and continue residing at his current address.
The complainant is the State, represented by detective inspector Nyahema who is the investigating officer.