New twist in Natpharm boss case

New evidence will be heard in the matter of NatPham’s boss Newman Madzikwa who is facing charges of criminal abuse of office.

The matter was on halt following revelations by the State led by Zivanai Macharaga that he had stumbled upon new evidence which might help exonerate the boss in the matter before court.

Macharaga told the court that he was prepared to give in to any demands by the defense council in the event that they wanted to amend their defense outline considering that five witnesses had already testified in court.

He also indicated that only two statements from witnesses would be prejudiced as it is only their evidence which is linked to the new found evidence.

This new found evidence is in the form of a recording which was recorded during a meeting in which the charges are based and the minutes which would have substituted this recording had not been brought in court as they were not signed for nor authenticated thereby inadmissible in court.

Madzikwa’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo however opposed this application on the basis that the State is not supposed to engage in any investigative work.

Regional Magistrate Hosea Mujaya dismissed the application by the State.

He however evoked Section 232 on the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which provides for him to call any witness to testify. The matter was rolled over to tomorrow for the evidence from Suzana Shara to be heard.

Madzikwa is facing two counts of criminal abuse of office. He was allegedly appointed as the acting manager of NatPharm fraudulently by Dr Parirenyatwa through a directive to the NatPharm board without following procedure.

It is the State’s case that Madzikwa, contrary to the requirements, directed his financial manager Roland Mlalazi in a management meeting held on September 3, to effect a 11 percent hike of the handling from four to 15 percent which could have potentially caused price hikes of basic drugs to consumers.

In the second count, Madzikwa is alleged to have acted in contrary with his duties by handpicking a Danish company called MissionPharma to supply medicines worth $10million without going to tender.

Madzikwa is currently out on $200 bail.