Zimbabwe’s Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ellen Gwaradzimba (60) succumbed to Covid-19 related complications today.
She becomes the second government minister, after the late Agriculture Minister Perrence Shiri, to succumb to Covid-19.
Gwaradzimba was taken ill a few weeks ago and airlifted from Mutare to Harare for treatment.
A veteran of the country’s liberation struggle, she had remained in hospital since, until losing the battle against the pandemic.
Her death comes at the time the country is suffering a severe second wave of Covid-19, in which both infections and deaths have risen sharply.
Over 1 000 new infections and 47 deaths were recorded yesterday, with health authorities warning the spike could worsen if people continue ignoring recommended precautions.
The government has imposed a Level 4 lockdown to reduce the spread of the pandemic, and implored the citizenry to social distance and mask up, among other precautions.
But indications on the ground point to laxity by the public to the measures, hence the rising infections.
Gwaradzimba was a long serving member of the ruling ZANU-PF party, and civil servant before her ministerial appointment in 2018.
She was educated at the University of Zimbabwe and University of Fort Hare in South Africa.