Justice legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Zinyambi Zinyambi hangs on the line due to Covid-19.


Ziyambi Ziyambi is currently fighting for his life in the ICU of a Harare hospital due to a Covid-19 explosion that has paralysed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Cabinet.

This comes as the country is yet to come to terms with the demise of three Cabinet ministers – two deaths being recorded inside a week.

Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza passed at the age of 61, on January 22, two days after Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, 61, succumbed to Covid-19 early on Wednesday.

Covid-19, this month, also took the lives of Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Ellen Gwaradzimba and military commander, Brigadier-General Collin Moyo (Retired), who were buried at the national shrine.

Minister Perrance Shiri, the former Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, died last year due Covid-19 related complications.

Zim Morning was informed by inside sources that Ziyambi had been hospitalised after catching the respiratory infection.

“These ministers held private parties over the festive season with family and friends – some were carrying the South African variant. Having been infected, they went on to interact with colleagues oblivious of the impending implosion,” a government insider who refused to be identified said.

“We are at the peak of 28-day window period since Christmas. Naturally, the people whom they came into contact with including ministers are not only shocked but are living in tears.”

30 523 confirmed cases, including 21 080 recoveries and 962 deaths were recorded as at 22 January 2021 in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s casualties in Cabinet, which have not only cost precious life but have derailed set deliverable in ministries, leave President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s with a hard decision of how to move forward.

The late cabinet ministers in question are Perrance Shiri (Agriculture), Sibusiso Moyo (Foreign Affairs) and Joel Biggie Matiza (Transport), were some of Mnangagwa’s work horses, in a cabinet that has an important number of ministers who have shown to be deadwood.

“This is a major blow for Mnangagwa, he lost three of his best men who were sharp and hardworking. Replacing them will be hard for him from the current crop of House of Assembly members at his disposal. The options become even more limited if he considers the political matrix of which MPs are for him and which are against him,” said a South African based political science scholar who preferred to be unidentified.

Shiri proved to be examplary even at his own farm in Marondera when he traded his military cap for political gloves upon his appointment as Agriculture minister, as he proved that he was a politician.

However, his mission was cut short by the coronavirus and his replacement Anxious Masuka is yet to make an attempt to ensure smooth continuity to fulfil his mandate.

He was seized with massive corruption cases surrounding distribution of Command Agriculture inputs.

“Unlike Shiri, his replacement lacks the hands on approach and has failed to set up control mechanisms to plug abuse of inputs. On Pfumvudza there has been inadequate education and Information dissemination extended to farmers. He is lucky that God blessed us with heavy rains and a bumper harvest will save his face,” said a political analyst who requested to be anonymous.

In SB Moyo, finding a perfect replacement will be a hard task for Mnangagwa.

Engaging and re-engaging with existing and previously hostile nations was the late diplomat and soldier’s mandate.

He embarked on a whirlwind tour across the globe selling brand Zimbabwe.

As a result, he was given another responsibility, of International Trade which he executed with great finesse.

“Look here, when Mnangagwa added the International Trade responsibility to Moyo’s portfolio, he knew very well his capabilities with these guys having worked together at the business and enterprise Unit of the ruling party. SB Moyo was the managing director of one of the party linked company that invested in DRC. So knew the world markets and the bible of International trade,” added the analyst.

In the previous dispensation, the portfolio was done by self-exiled Walter Mzembi, who irrespective of his factional affiliation, by and large set a base that the late Moyo adapted and well-executed.

Mnanganwa will have a headache in finding his replacement which will force him to probably appoint one of the young turks in his next cabinet reshuffle with Kazembe Kazembe touted as the favourite.

Matiza, the late, was an engineer by profession and technocrat who used his knowledge to champion developmental issues in his ministry and Mashonaland East province that he chaired in the ruling party structures.

Just before the National lockdown, he went on a tour where he visited new road construction sites to evaluate progress (or lack thereof).

He took upon a ministry that was in a mess following a corruption-ridden tenure by Nicholas Goche who allegedly was part of bringing the National airliner Air Zimbabwe to its knees.

Matiza made a frantic effort to clean the mess and his effort saw Air Zimbabwe taking delivery of two planes bought in Malaysia.

The coronavirus pandemic also took the life of Manicaland Provincial minister Ellen Gwaradzimba last week.

This week, a dark cloud followed the nation as Former Education minister Aeneous Chigwedere also died from Covid 19 related complications and was surprisingly declared a liberation war hero.

On Friday evening, former Zimbabwe Prisons Services boss Paradzai Zimondi suffered the same pandemic after he tested positive a fortnight ago along with Colonel Matemachani who is said to be on recovery path.

Another important and relevant businessman and politican Christopher Chigumba also died on the same day.

Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said government was absolutely everything in its power to contain the pandemic and urged citizens to follow the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health and Childcare guidelines and protocols.-Zimmorning Post

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