Several ministers and guests gathered in Harare on Saturday to celebrate the 60th birthday of information minister Monica Mutsvangwa with no mask in sight.
Zimbabweans reacted with anger after pictures emerged showing ministers Mutsvangwa, Joel Biggie Matiza, Ziyambi Ziyambi and Kazembe Kazembe at the shindig which went on late into the night.
The pictures were shared on social media by government spokesman Ndavaningi Mangwana.
Former information minister Jonathan Moyo blasted Mangwana for having “no qualms about parading this Covid-19 superspreader birthday party.”
Last week, police issued a statement reminding Zimbabweans that “weddings, birthdays, house parties, political and other social gatherings which include musical concerts are still banned.”
Only on November 24, Mangwana tweeted: “The nation is informed that gatherings are still limited to two persons while authorised events such as weddings are limited to 50 persons and churches to 100 persons.
Confronted by Zimbabweans over their “recklessness when the country is struggling to cope with Covid-19,” Mangwana claimed that all guests had been tested for Covid-19 prior to being allowed into the venue.
He also claimed the event was over before 10PM, a government-imposed curfew time.
And asked if gatherings are now allowed, Mangwana revised his own statement from November 24, responding: “Less than 50 (people).”
Zimbabwe’s coronavirus cases are expected to surpass 10,000 on Monday.
On Sunday, the ministry of health reported 128 new cases including one death from Matabeleland South. The country has reported 9,950 infections to date, including 276 deaths.