via ZBC fraudsters block $100,000 minister – NewZimbabwe 30/10/2015
THE ZBC reportedly refused an interview request by beleaguered health minister David Parirenyatwa this week, telling him to first clear his name over allegations he fleeced public health insurer, PSMAS, of $100,000.
But Parirenyatwa would have found the decision by the top brass at Pockets Hill, ZBC’s Harare base, ironic.
The state broadcaster’s news department is headed by Tazzen Mandizvidza who was accused in Parliament of defrauding ZBC of thousands of dollars but kept his job because he grassed fellow fraudsters in top management.
Sources told NewZimbabwe.com that Parirenyatwa rang ZBC asking to be interviewed after returning from Geneva where he attended a meeting of United Nations agency, UNAIDS.
“He (Parirenyatwa) called ZBC’s news-desk saying he wanted to give an update on his visit in Geneva,” said a reporter at Pockets Hill.
“The Minister was told to call back as the news writer wanted to consult with his seniors.
“When he rang back a junior news writer told him that ZBC could not do anything for him since he is supposed to clear his name regarding PSMAS first.”
The incident could not be verified with Parirenyatwa but a senior staffer at Pockets Hill said they have been instructed by superiors not to entertain the health minister.
State media recently reported that Parirenyatwa deployed a principal director in his ministry to run the financially crippled PSMAS – a health insurer whose membership mainly comprises civil servants.
The director then authorised a payment of $100,000 to Parirenyatwa – who is a medical doctor – when he was only owed $23,000 for PSMAS members treated at his private surgery.
The minister defended the additional $77,000 payment, claiming it was standard industry practice.
The payment was also made at a time PSMAS owed service providers millions of dollars with private doctors saying they may be forced to close due to company’s failure to pay them.
Parirenyatwa has since faced calls to resign over the saga, amid reports he is also under pressure in the ruling Zanu PF party.
The minister was linked to the ousted ‘gamatox’ faction in the ruling party but managed to survive purges which saw the dismissal of former vice president Joice Mujuru and several senior officials.
Parerinyatwa represents Murehwa North constituency in the House of Assembly.
Zanu PF sources say efforts are underway to force his recall.