The State has taken the unusual step to discredit its star witness’ evidence that supported former Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa, instead of nailing him.
This comes after former NatPharm chairperson George Washaya stunned the State when batted in Parirenyatwa’s corner during trial, insisting that Parirenyatwa had in fact helped the company and not sabotaged it.
Parirenyatwa is currently before the court facing charges of abuse of office and the State had called in Washaya hoping to use his evidence to nail Parirenyatwa.
On Monday regional magistrate Elijah Makomo ruled that Washaya was a hostile witness as he did not serve the purpose of a State witness which is nailing an accused person.
He instead exonerated him, Makomo said.
A witness in court is supposed to further the interests of the party that would have called him in to testify be it the State or the defense and in the event that he does otherwise.
There are provisions at law that allow for the aggrieved party to apply for the impeachment of its witness and declare it hostile so it can go ahead and cross examine him.
The State led by Brian Vito will on May 22 cross examine Dr Washaya.
When Washaya testified, the court heard that the former minister had not committed a criminal offense by suggesting Newman Madzikwa’s hiring.
“As NatPharm board, we discovered that Mrs Sifeku was being overwhelmed with work. Stock levels of drugs continued to shrink, and she would take too long to procure medicines,” Washaya said.
“There was an outcry from the whole country because of her inability. For example, early last year, urgent action was needed to procure drugs during the first quarter of the year, but she only managed to do so in the second quarter. The former minister had done a lot of things which benefited NatPharm and we would never take his move to appoint Madzikwa as a wrong one.”