Africa Zimbabwe: Coronavirus claims transport minister

Zimbabwe: Coronavirus claims transport minister

Within 24 hours, Zimbabwe has lost a second member of its leadership class to coronavirus.

Joel Biggie Matiza, the Southern African country’s transport minister, died late Friday from COVID-19 at a private hospital in the capital Harare.

Earlier in the day former Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere also succumbed to COVID-19, and after Matiza’s passing came word that Paradzai Zimondi, 73, former head of the country’s prisons, was also claimed by the virus.

Born in 1960 in Murewa in the Mashonaland East Province, Matiza previously worked as deputy minister of local government, public works and national housing.

He was reportedly hospitalized last week before becoming Zimbabwe’s fourth government minister to be claimed by the virus.

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of several Zimbabwean politicians, including Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo, who died of COVID-19 complications earlier this week.

Ellen Gwaradzimba, minister of provincial affairs for the Manicaland Province, and Morton Malianga, Zimbabwe’s deputy finance minister in the 1980s, also succumbed to the disease last week.