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Covid-19 a ruthless juggernaut, says Chiwenga

by Staff reporter
28 Jan 2021 at 06:53hrs | Views
Acting President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday described Covid-19 as a ruthless juggernaut, which kills everyone despite societal status as Zimbabwe buried three national heroes at the Heroes Acre.

Speaking at the burial of national heroes—Cabinet ministers Sibusiso Moyo and Joel Biggie Matiza and former Prisons boss Paradzai Zimondi—Chiwenga said the country needed collective effort to win the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

The trio succumbed to Covid-19 complications last week, causing a serious panic in the government.

This follows the double burial last week of the late veteran nationalist Morton Malianga and the late Manicaland minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ellen Gwaradzimba.

"Covid-19 has taught us a lesson that we are all mortals. The fight against the pandemic does not allow us to choose who to work with or run with and it does not discriminate between the powerful and the weak and the privileged and the underprivileged," said Chiwenga who doubles as Health and Child Care minister.

"Covid-19 is a ruthless juggernaut that leaves a trail of despair and desperation."

Chiwenga said the country will eventually conquer and prevail over everything as the country is in the process of getting vaccines.

Moyo died on Wednesday last week while Matiza and Zimondi succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Friday.

The burials followed strict Covid-19 control measures prescribed by the World Health Organisation to contain the rapid spread of the virus.

Moyo was a three-star General on retirement, and served his country as a Cabinet minister, while Zimondi was a two-star general on retirement from the army before being seconded to the then Zimbabwe Prison Service in 1997.

Moyo had become the face of the country's re-engagement thrust under the new dispensation and had been making steady progress on that front with Zimbabwe now beginning to enjoy warmer ties with countries formerly regarded as adversaries.

Moyo, in November 2017, announced the coming in of the New Dispensation, which removed former President Robert Mugabe, who had been in power for 37 years.

Chiwenga extolled the journey travelled by Minister Matiza saying he held several appointments such as minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, as well as minister of State for Mashonaland East Province, and Deputy minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

He said Matiza was a resolute and transformative minister committed to implementing transport and infrastructural development programmes and projects.

He said the late Zimondi was a stalwart of the liberation struggle who played a critical role in that regard.

Zimondi joined the liberation struggle as a cadre of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (Zanla) in 1974 and underwent military training at Mgagao in Tanzania.

After completing training, he was chosen to be an instructor.

However, that appointment was short-lived as he was nominated to be part of the comrades who were deployed to open a new front in Gaza Province for joint operations with the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (Zipra) under the banner of the Zimbabwe People's Army.

Zimondi was part of the Zanla contingent that carried out the very first attack on Rhodesia's third largest city, Umtali (now Mutare) in 1978.

Chiwenga described Zimondi as a great strategist and shrewd commander.In post-independence Zimbabwe, Major-General (Retired) Zimondi had an illustrious service in the Zimbabwe National Army where he was Colonel General Staff (Col GS) in charge of army operations, Commander I Infantry Brigade, Chief of Defence Intelligence and Commander, Presidential Guard Brigade.

On retirement in 1997, he was assigned to the then Zimbabwe Prison Service (now the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service) and later became its Commissioner-General.

Zimbabwe has recorded over 32,000 new cases and over 1000 deaths. President Emmerson Mnangagwa warned on Saturday of a spike in cases in the coming "hours, days, weeks and even months".

Source - Business Times