Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Moyo, has died from complications related to coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, a government official statement has said.
The statement, issued by the country’s acting chief secretary to the president and cabinet, George Charamba, said Moyo succumbed to the disease on Wednesday.
It added that the deceased minister had tested positive for the virus a day earlier.
Moyo becomes the third government minister to succumb to COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the country in March 2020.
He had a known kidney problem that kept him out of work for long periods as he sought regular dialysis.
The former military man played an important role in overthrowing former president Robert Mugabe by leading communications at the time. Moyo was the one who made a statement to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation following the “house arrest” of Mugabe and denied that a coup had taken place.
He was appointed foreign minister by President Emmerson Mnangagwa shortly after Mugabe was overthrown in November 2017 and retired from the military soon after.
Some have speculated that Moyo was in line to succeed Mnangagwa as president.
Covid-19 deaths in Zimbabwe reached 60 a day on January 18, with a recovery rate of 63.2%, according to the ministry of health and childcare.
Co-ordinator of the Covid-19 national response, Dr Agnes Mahomva, has warned Zimbabweans that complacency will account for more deaths because people are not taking the 30-day lockdown, now in its 15th day, seriously.