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Zimbabwe: COVID-19 kills another former minister

Southern African country has so far recorded 33,388 cases, 1,217 deaths

Jeffrey Moyo   | 01.02.2021
Zimbabwe: COVID-19 kills another former minister

HARARE, Zimbabwe

The novel coronavirus claimed the life of another former minister in Zimbabwe on Sunday night, his family announced Monday.

Tendai Savanhu, a former deputy minister for Lands and Resettlement, was 52 years of age.

In a Twitter post, Zimbabwe’s exiled former minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, who is also a relative of Savanhu, said: “We are in deep pain over his untimely and sad departure.”

Savanhu was fired from the country’s ruling Zimbabwe Africa National Union Patriotic Front last year following allegations that he had collaborated with the country’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance in an orchestrated plot to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa through street protests.

In July last year, Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister, died of COVID-19.

On Jan. 15, Ellen Gwaradzimba, Zimbabwe’s minister for Provincial Affairs for Manicaland Province, succumbed to coronavirus, followed in the same week by Morton Malianga, the country’s former deputy finance minister.

On Jan. 20, Sibusiso Busi Moyo, Zimbabwe’s minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, also succumbed to the coronavirus in the capital Harare.

Two days later, a 81-year-old top historian and former education minister in Zimbabwe, Aeneas Chigwedere, also died due to COVID-19. On the same day, Joel Biggie Matiza, Zimbabwe’s transport minister, also died of the virus in Harare.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UAE Jetro Ndlovu died last Saturday, barely 24 hours before Zimbabwe’s High Court Judge Clement Phiri succumbed to the respiratory disease at his home in Marondera in the country’s Mashonaland East Province.

Last week, Zimbabwe’s Acting President Constantino Chiwenga extended the country’s level four national lockdown till Feb. 15 to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The southern African country has so far reported 33,388 coronavirus cases, including 1,217 deaths and 26,044 recoveries.

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