Coronavirus targets politicians across Southern Africa


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As coronavirus spreads death amongst Zimbabwe’s politicians, the country’s two Vice Presidents have not been seen in public of late amid growing speculation they are critically ill from COVID-19.

Chiwenga, who is acting President presided over the burial of Moyo, Matiza and Zimondi , today.

Amid all this chaos, government spokesman Nick Mangwana recently triggered a storm, claiming “medical assassins” are out to kill government officials falling sick due to coronavirus.

“There are certain political players being eliminated in hospitals by political activists hiding behind medical qualifications. In fact, not just political players, but medical assassins,” Mangwana tweeted on 24 January.

But in less than 24 hours, under pressure from social media activists who rebuked him, Mangwana apologized before withdrawing his allegations.

Rashweat Mukundu, a media researcher and Africa adviser at International Media Support, said as they fall prey to coronavirus, Zimbabwe’s political leaders are having a test of their own medicine.

“For the first time, our politicians and senior government leaders are confronting the reality of the decay in our health system; over the past few years they would fly to South Africa, to China, to Malaysia for treatment, but right now they have to face the years of neglect of which they are the chief parties,” Mukundu said.

As COVID-19 pummels the country’s governing politicians, Mukundu also said: “It’s a wake-up call to our leaders to invest in health infrastructure as they see that they actually need it as much as the ordinary citizens do.”

But Taurai Kandishaya, a known activist for the ruling Zimbabwe Africa National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), said: “COVID-19 is killing engineers, doctors, witchdoctors, musicians, actors, chiefs, drivers as it’s also killing politicians from across the board.”

Pointing to the deaths of government leaders in Zimbabwe, Owen Dhliwayo, a Zimbabwean pro-democracy activist, said: “The authorities set up regulations which they were not ready to comply with themselves.”- Anadolu/Own

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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