The deaths of notable figures in the country is fast showing everyone that the second wave of Covid-19 is not taking any prisoners, as more people, regardless of status are now infected while the number of those daily succumbing to the pandemic has been on an increase since the festive season.
According to health authorities, this second wave is more infectious and ‘merciless’ especially if people do not heed calls to take preventative measures, wear masks and stay at home.
This Wednesday morning, Zimbabwe lost its Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Sibusiso Moyo (61), the third minister to die of Covid-19.
Dr Moyo, a retired lieutenant general, rose to prominence in 2017 after he appeared on Zimbabwe’s national broadcaster announcing the coup d’état dubbed ‘Operation Restore Legacy,’ which removed late former president Robert Mugabe from power.
Last week, Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Manicaland, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba (60) succumbed to Covid-19 and is set to be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare Thursday.
In July last year, Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Perrance Shiri (65), a former Air Force of Zimbabwe commander also lost his life to the virus, robbing Gukurahundi survivors of justice as he was one of the architects in the 1980s genocide.
Globally, the Covid-19 virus has led to over two million deaths including celebrities and public figures.
“Covid-19 is transcending national borders, racial borders and social borders. It is reaping everywhere. We have just lost Dr SB Moyo, one of the prominent leaders of the time,” said analyst, Methuseli Moyo, in an interview with CITE.
“We have lost Chief Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, who like SB Moyo, was a decorated military general and cabinet minister. It is one pandemic that strikes anywhere and must be fought together, by all classes, all political sides, otherwise the nation will perish from it.”
Moyo added that it was unfortunate that Shiri who was implicated in the Gukurahundi genocide died before he accounted for his role.
“Sadly some of the people like Shiri were heavily involved in some darkest episodes of our history and were taken before anyone could get their own version or account of things. He died with loads of information that could form a crucial part of history,” he said.
Students studying post-coup studies also described Moyo’s death a “loss to source of information about the 2017 coup, as he was one of the chief makers.”
A Bulawayo resident, Witness Bhebhe, said the second wave of Covid-19 that now affects familiar faces has awoken Zimbabweans to the reality that this pandemic is real and must be taken seriously.
“We have been relaxed and taking things for granted. I believe the casual approach and not taking the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines when with friends and family has been the greatest factor that has led to high profile deaths,” he said.
A social analyst, Patrick Ndlovu, said people must not be surprised by the ‘take-no-prisoners’ stance of Covid-19 because some people were taking half measures instead of following the guidelines.
“In as much as no one seeks to be infected, while some people are in total lockdown, others are not. The fact that Covid-19 is killing high profile people indicates the double standards in our country where poor people are locked down in their houses while prominent people still live the high life,” he said.
Ndlovu claimed some elitist individuals were not keeping regulations that were enforced on especially the poor people.
“High profile people are not social distancing; they are still partying, they have their conferences and are flying all over. That’s why it is taking a toll on them. We can’t say its justice because this is a pandemic, but it indicates the double standards that are in this country,” said the social analyst.