Zimbabwe’s vice president Constantino Chiwenga was appointed health minister on Tuesday,
one month after the former minister was sacked over corruption allegations related to COVID-19 testing kits.
Former health minister Obadiah Moyo is suspected of illegally awarding a $20 million contract for coronavirus testing. He was arrested in June and was freed on bail pending trial.
Zimbabwe’s vice president Constantino Chiwenga has officially taken over the health ministry
“President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) has noted the urgent need to stabilize, restructure and reform
the national health delivery system to better cope with challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic,”
the presidency said in a statement.
To date, Zimbabwe has recorded 4,075 coronavirus cases including at least 80 deaths – although those figures
are believed to be underestimated due to a lack of testing.
The pandemic has added pressure on a public health system already verging on collapse, with shortages
of basic drugs and equipment and overburdened and underpaid staff.
Most public hospitals are without administrative heads following their dismissal en-masse last month as part of a restructuring exercise, shortly after the former minister was fired.