Monday, June 14

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Dies From Covid-19

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade, Sibusiso Busi Moyo, has died, the office of the president said on Wednesday. The cause was complications related to Covid-19. Mr. Moyo became the fourth high-ranking official in Zimbabwe to succumb to the virus since the start of the pandemic.

“The late minister succumbed to Covid-19 at a local hospital,” read a short statement from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office, giving no further detail.

Mr. Moyo, 58, became famous as the face of the military coup that ended former President Robert Mugabe’s nearly-four decade rule in 2017. He was at the time a major general in the Zimbabwean armed forces.

Credit…Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government,” Mr. Moyo said on state television, reading a statement after the military commandeered the national broadcaster. “What the Zimbabwean Defense Force is doing is to pacify a degenerating a political, social and economic situation.”

Mr. Moyo was born in 1961 in Mberengwa, a rural district in central Zimbabwe. He is survived by his wife, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, a judge on the High Court in Zimbabwe and the chair of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, and their two children. (An ealier version of this article misstated the year of Mr. Moyo’s birth.)

Last week, Ellen Gwaradzimba, the minister of state for the country’s Manicaland Province, died from complications linked to Covid-19. In the same week, Morton Malianga, a member of the ruling party’s highest decision-making body and former deputy finance minister, also succumbed to Covid-19. In July, the minister of agriculture, Perrance Shiri, also died from Covid-19.

The southern African nation has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases and deaths since the start of this year, with the Health Ministry on Tuesday recording 52 deaths and 783 new infections in 24 hours, forcing officials to impose a new lockdown, shuttering businesses and imposing a curfew. Zimbabwe has recorded a total of 28,675 cases and 825 deaths and since the start of the pandemic.

Jeffrey Moyo reported from Harare and Lynsey Chutel from Johannesburg.

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