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Covid-19 fears force politburo postponement

CHIEF WRITER

ZANU PF was yesterday forced to postpone its scheduled meeting of the politburo amid fears that attending party bigwigs would be infected with Covid-19 as no measures had been put in place to protect them.

The routine monthly meeting had been called to discuss, among other things, the Covid-19 pandemic and national immunisation.

It was also set to discuss the issue of land barons linked to Zanu PF ahead of the government’s plans to demolish illegal structures across the country’s cities, towns and growth points.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, pictured, told the Daily News yesterday that the ruling party realised at the last minute that there was a risk of Covid-19 infections following expert advice from its health secretary David Parirenyatwa.

“The politburo was postponed on account of health considerations. We had technical challenges regarding putting in place measures that would have ensured that members are safe at the venue, so with advice from the secretary for health, David Parirenyatwa, we postponed it,” Mpofu said.

The postponement came as the country had by Tuesday cumulatively recorded 34 781 confirmed cases and 1 353 deaths since March last year when the first case was registered in Zimbabwe.

On Tuesday, the country lost another high-ranking official to Covid-19 following the death of Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique, retired army Lieutenant-General Douglas Nyikayaramba.

Covid-19 also claimed the lives of Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, his Transport counterpart Joel Biggie Matiza, Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimba and former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner-General Paradzai Zimondi last month.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced Nyikayaramba’s death at a private hospital in the capital where he was battling the respiratory disease.

Last year in July, Zimbabwe was plunged into mourning after it lost Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri to the lethal disease, while Mpofu and Zanu PF information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi both tested positive for Covid-19.

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