HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister Perrance Shiri died from the COVID-19 infection, becoming the first senior government official to succumb to the pandemic, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Thursday.
Shiri, a retired general who helped plot a coup that ousted Robert Mugabe in 2017, died on Wednesday.
The late liberation war veteran was declared a national hero and will be buried on Friday during a closed ceremony.
“Now that it is confirmed that Minister Shiri died of COVID-19, we will follow World Health Organisation regulations on how the funeral should proceed,” Mnangagwa said during a funeral wake at Shiri’s home in Harare.
Zimbabwe has recorded 2,879 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 40 deaths. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)