Information Secretary Nick Mangwana has backtracked on his earlier statement that “medical assassins” were responsible for the death of senior government officials who succumbed to Covid-19.
Posting on his personal twitter account, the government spokesperson claimed some medical practitioners are deliberately killing Zanu PF politicians and hiding behind the deadly pandemic.
Ministers Sibusiso Moyo, Joel Biggie Matiza and Ellen Gwaradzimba are among senior party members who succumbed to the respiratory disease last week.
“This is what’s leading to the unfortunate conspiracy theory that there are certain political players being eliminated in hospitals by political activists hiding behind medical qualifications. Not just political players but medical assassins,” he had tweeted.
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said Mangawana`s statement was “irresponsible and could escalate tensions in the health sector.”
“ZADHR strongly advises against continuous persecution of health care professionals. Cases of alleged medical misconduct, if any, must always be handled by the appropriate medical regulatory bodies,” the doctors said in a statement.
The Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association (MDPPZA) said Mangwana`s baseless accussations were “unfortunate” and “worrisome”.
“These accusations are quite unfortunate and worrisome at this juncture when every health worker has tightened their belts in the midst of the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 infection can be a very serious infection if there is delayed medical attention, complications like severe pneumonia, lung necrosis, thrombo-embolism, renal failure and heart attacks can arise. The whole world is quivering because of the deadly virus,” the statement read.
“We call upon everyone to refrain from inflammatory talk that has potential to demoralise the resilient frontliners who are obviously working very hard to contain and mitigate the virus. Zimbabwe has some of the best doctors in the world and our efforts together will surely yield results. We continue requesting your prayers as we navigate the muddy waters.”
After a barrage of criticism from across the board Mangwana offered apologised for his baseless accusations.
“I expressed my personal view on an issue a Doctor had tweeted on. I had no intention to offend any doctor or call any of them names. Since it has caused such offence, I withdraw it and apologise for any offence caused. I just hope we can move and not be distracted from work at hand,” read his apology tweet.