Former National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) board chair, Dr George Washaya has told the court that the police have an agenda to put former Health minister, David Parirenyatwa on the spotlight with the allegations they have leveled against him as he only had the ministry’s best interests.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Elija Makomo who was accused of ‘tampering’ with Washaya’s evidence as his notes from his record were different from those in the possession of the defense even when they were captured at the same time however said he would determine if the evidence being led by Washaya was truthful, indicating signs of doubt.
During cross examination by Depak Mehta, Parirenyatwa’s lawyer, Washaya told the court that months after the NatPham board had been dissolved and allegations had already been laid against Parirenyatwa, the company engaged the former board chair to sign for minutes from a meeting which had been convened nine months before.
“It was in February after the former minister had been already been arrested that i was approached and asked to sign for the minutes from a meeting that had been convened nine months earlier,” he said.
“This was improper as the minutes were supposed to have been signed for on the following meeting after it so it could be a legal document.”
The minutes however constitute an essential part of the record just like Washaya’s evidence which Makomo has already indicated that he would determine its truthfulness leaving Parirenyatwa’s fate hanging by a thin thread.
Washaya also accused the police of tempering with his statement.
He said, after the police had recorded his statement, they brought a typed copy which he signed but did not bother to scrutinise it ad he trusted the company’s legal advisor who told him to “just sign.”
“The statement was recorded during Obadiah Moyo’s tenure. Three CID agents came to my office and had something already written before they got my statement,” he said.
“I was at my surgery and did not think about cross checking facts before signing the statement.”
Washaya reiterated that Parirenyatwa only had NatPhams best interests and the ministry is a shareholder of NatPham hence his involvement in Newman Madzikwa’s hiring was welcomed.
Makomo was accused of prejudicing Parirenyatwa after he had produced ‘conflicting’ notes from those noted by the defense while the prosecutor, Brian Vito was leading evidence from Washaya.
He, Makomo however ruled that he was neutral.
The State represented by Brian Vito of the President’s special anti-corruption unit alleges that Parirenyatwa caused double dipping for NatPharm which ended up paying two salaries towards the MD post since Sifeku’s contract was not dissolved.