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New Twist in NATPHARM boss trial

by Staff reporter
27 Mar 2019 at 23:50hrs | Views
There is a new twist in NATPHARM acting managing director Newman Madzikwa's case of violating tender procedures by hiking medicine prices after a Harare magistrate ordered that a sixth witness be called to testify against him.

Regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya exercised his rights enshrined in Section 232 that a magistrate can call any witness that is not included in the State's case to fill in the gaps.

Mujaya ordered special unit prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga to call the witness on his behalf after dismissing the State's application of the State to call in a new witness that came up in an inspection in loco that was held at NATPHARM.

The witness is Suzzanna Shara, who takes minutes at the institution.

"After calling all State witnesses, the State discovered at the inspection in loco that the minutes of the meeting at NATPHARM were accessible so I tasked the police to record the statement from the witness and served the defence counsel on the same day," said Macharaga.

Harrison Nkomo representing Madzikwa together with Magistrate Mujaya castigated the State for involving itself in investigations as this compromised its impartiality in the matter.

The minutes which were being referred to form the basis of the allegations.

It is being alleged that in the meeting of September 3 last year, Madzikwa directed the financial director to effect an 11 percent rice hike of the medicine handling fee from 4 to 15 percent a move which compromised accessibility of medication to the public.

Source - hmetro