David Parirenyatwa

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Dr.
David Parirenyatwa
Dr-Parirenyatwa.jpg
Born (1950-08-02) August 2, 1950 (age 65)
Education Medicine
Occupation
  • Medical Doctor
  • Politician
Political party
Zanu-PF
Spouse(s) Choice Parirenyatwa
Children Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa
Parents Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa (Father)
Emely Mkwananzi (Mother)

David Parirenyatwa is a doctor and politician affiliated to the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) party and is the current Minister of Health and Child Care.

Background

He was born on the 2nd of August 1950. He was little known until August 2002 when he became Minister of Health, replacing Timothy Stamps who was ill at that time. The Parirenyatwa group of hospitals were named after his father Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa who fought in the liberation struggle. He is married to Choice Parirenyatwa.

Cholera Outbreak

In 2007, a cholera outbreak hit Harare starting from the Mabvuku-Tafara suburbs. The outbreak which caused the death of about 400 people in its early stages was blamed on Parirenyatwa and his ministry's failure to provide adequate and safe water to Harare residents. The situation worsened in 2009 with Parirenyatwa's ministry recording 11 735 cholera cases with 484 deaths between August and December 2008.[1] The outbreak killed at least 4,000 people between 2008 and 2009 when water treatment and sanitation deteriorated.[2] Parirenyatwa declared the outbreak a national disaster and called for international aid in December 2008. He blamed the economic meltdown for the outbreak as the inflation at the time was over 231 million percent. Parirenyatwa admitted that his ministry could not provide enough drinking water and advised people to avoid shaking hands at funerals a thing which was taboo in the Zimbabwe culture.[3]

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Major Successes

He made efforts to curb the HIV and AIDS disease through providing antiretroviral Therapy and encouraging people to get tested. This resulted in the decline of the pandemic during his tenure in 2007. Through his ministry, Zimbabwe became the leading country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in terms of the prevention of AIDS. The prevalence rate declined from 18,1% in 2006 to 15,6% in 2007- the best ever decline recorded in the history of the country.[4] He was on the 5th of September 2008 elected Vice President of the World Health Organisation Regional Committee for Africa.[5]

Controversy

Corruption

In October 2015, Parirenyatwa was unprocedurally paid US $100,000 by struggling Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) for his services as a medical doctor. It was revealed that Parirenyatwa was well above his claims of patients he had seen at his surgery, which only amounted to $23 000. The minister was therefore overpaid $77,000 for services not rendered to the society.[6] Parirenyatwa did not deny that he was overpaid. He said: “This money would then be recovered through future claims to the insurer by the service provider. It is a common norm in the medical industry." He did not however explain why other doctors were owed huge amounts of money by PSMAS for services actually provided. As Parirenyatwa was of health at the time it is considered misuse of his position of trust to gain this unfair advantage not only over PSMAS but also over his peers in the medical profession.[7]

Threats to kill opposition supporters

In 2007, he allegedly promised to kill opposition supporters unless they voted for Robert Mugabe in the controversial June 27, 2008 Presidential election run-off. Those opposition supporters who did not vote for Mugabe in the first round were allegedly forced to attend ZANU PF meetings were they were beaten.[8]

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References

  1. Cholera in Zimbabwe, World Health Organisation GAR, Published: December 2, 2008, Retrieved: July 2, 2014
  2. Incensed Harare says Cholera risk overstated, New Zimbabwe, Published: November 20, 2013, Retrieved: July 2, 2014
  3. Cholera strikes Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Today, Published: October 26, 2008, Retrieved: July 2, 2014
  4. HIV rate declines in Zimbabwe, Mail and Guardian, Published: October 31, 2007, Retrieved: July 2, 2014
  5. Dr David Parirenyatwa : Vice President of WHO Regional Committee for Africa, AIBST Newsletter, Published: September 2008, Retrieved:
  6. PSMAS funnels $100k to minister. . . money unprocedurally sent to Parirenyatwa’s company account, The Herald, Published:22 October 2015, Retrieved: 19 Nov 2015
  7. Alex Magaisa, Tale of Two Nations, Facebook. Published:18 Nov 2015, Retrieved:19 Nov 2015
  8. Mugabe minister accused of gun threats, Mail and Guardian, Published: April 21, 2008, Retrieved July 2014