DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR
TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development minister, Joel Biggie Matiza, pictured, yesterday became Zimbabwe’s fourth minister to die from coronavirus.
Matiza, 60, succumbed to complications brought about by the deadly disease at a Harare hospital last night.
He had been in hospital for the past two weeks.
Information ministry permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana, and Mashonaland East political commissar Herbert Shumbamhini, confirmed Matiza’s death to the media last night.
An architect by profession, Matiza was born in Murewa in August 1960.
He had served as the Member of Parliament for Murewa South since 1999.
On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs minister, Sibusiso Busi Moyo, became the third minister to die from the raging pandemic, following the recent death of Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, Ellen Gwaradzimba, and that of Lands and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri last year.
Moyo became an instant celebrity when he announced live on State television the stunning November 2017 military coup which led to the ouster from power of the late Robert Mugabe.
He was also the husband of the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo.
The deaths have also come as authorities continue to battle to contain spiralling cases of Covid-19 in the country, which have triggered calls for the government to expedite processes to bring in much-needed vaccines.
On Wednesday alone, another 54 people succumbed to the deadly virus — 24 hours after it had killed 52 citizens others, and a further 60 citizens the previous day, amid a worrying trend where the deaths are continuing in the double figures range.
On Thursday the fatalities subsided somewhat, as 30 people succumbed to the deadly pandemic — which has the seen country being put under a stiffened lockdown, which authorities hope will help to curb the spread of the disease locally.
The re-imposed curfew means that people are prohibited from being out and about between 6pm and 6am, except for those providing essential services.
In addition, the operations of all businesses — except those providing essential services — were also once again suspended for 30 days, as authorities battled to curb the spread of the lethal disease.