from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – FOREIGN Affairs and International Trade Minister, Sibusiso Moyo, is the most prominent government figure to succumb to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Zimbabwe.
Moyo, who was 61 at the time of his death, gained prominence when he announced the military coup that ousted Robert Mugabe from power in 2017.
Acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Jenfan Muswere, confirmed the death on Wednesday.
The deceased had been unwell for some time since his ascendancy to the cabinet of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In his role as foreign affairs minister, Moyo led Zimbabwe’s crusade to mend relations between the southern African country and Western nations.
These ties had been strained for almost two decades after the influential countries imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe over alleged human rights violations by the Mugabe regime.
There had been speculation in the Zimbabwean media that Moyo had been earmarked as the successor to Mnangagwa, owing to his role in the coup as well as his diplomatic role in the new government.
Moyo is the latest senior government official to succumb to the COVID-19.
Ellen Gwaradzimba, the Manicaland provincial affairs minister, died last weekend.
Perrance Shiri, another military commander who played a part in the 2017 coup, passed away in July last year.
Shiri was the Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister at the time of his death.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19.
It has confirmed 28 675 cases, including 825 deaths.
– CAJ News