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Zimbabwe: Announcer of 2017 coup dies of COVID-19

Several top officials, major political figures in Southern African nation succumb to coronavirus

Jeffrey Moyo   | 20.01.2021
Zimbabwe: Announcer of 2017 coup dies of COVID-19

HARARE, Zimbabwe

A top Zimbabwean official and former army general famed for announcing a coup in 2017 that toppled the country’s late former longtime strongman Robert Mugabe from power, succumbed to the novel coronavirus early on Wednesday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, 61, was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to a government statement confirmed by acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere, though details were scarce.

"I can confirm for now that Minister SB Moyo has died," said Muswere.

Moyo, who suffered from a kidney condition, reportedly died in a medical facility in the capital Harare, days after testing positive for the virus.

Widely seen as a representative of the military in the Zimbabwean government, he is the third government minister to die of the coronavirus.

Minister of Agriculture Perrance Shiri, a former air force commander who was given to the portfolio after the coup, also succumbed to the disease in July last year.

Ellen Gwaradzimba, who was the minister of provincial affairs for Manicaland Province, also died last week of COVID-19.

Another major figure in the Southern African nation, former deputy minister of finance in the 1980s, Morton Malianga, also succumbed to COVID-19 last week.

The country has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections and fatalities since the start of the new year, with the Health Ministry on Tuesday recording 52 deaths and 783 new infections within 24 hours.

It has reported 28,675 COVID-19 cases to date, including 825 deaths.

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