INFORMATION permanent secretary Nick Mangwana has sparked a row with government critics through suggestions that some ministers and other top government officials who have succumbed to Covid-19 could have been deliberately killed by opposition ‘activist’ doctors.
He was responding to a thread on twitter on Sunday.
Mangwana said, “l followed that. This is what’s leading to the unfortunate conspiracy theories that there are certain political players being eliminated in hospitals by political activists hiding behind medical qualifications.”
Zimbabwe has seen four serving government ministers, a former minister, an ex-legislator, some Zanu PF officials and former soldiers all succumb to the pandemic since July last year.
Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri was first to die from the dreaded disease in July last year while Manicaland provincial affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimba, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, Transport Minister Joel Biggie Matiza, former Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere, former Zanu PF legislator Christopher Chigumba, ex-Zimbabwe prisons boss Paradzai Zimondi all died in a single week.
Except for Gwaradzimba who was buried on Wednesday, the others are yet to be buried.
Hundreds more ordinary Zimbabweans continue to die from the disease.
Mangwana’s comments were latched on by prominent rights activist Dewa Mavinga and United Kingdom based blogger Alex Magaisa.
Mavhinga accused the top government official of being reckless.
“This is reckless propaganda and baseless innuendo against the medical profession coming from senior government official is very dangerous. You cannot combat the Covid-19 pandemic with propaganda,” he said.
Magaisa also accused Mangwana of “pedestrian thinking”.
“For a former nurse, secretary Mangwana displays pedestrian thinking. He and his chums were openly violating Covid-19 rules as if they were special. They were holding useless meetings and parties. Now he is peddling conspiracy theories and looking for scapegoats among doctors and nurses.”
The incidence of death visited upon the Zanu PF establishment through Covid-19 has unsettled Zimbabwean power corridors with Mangwana claiming this was not a coincidence.
Mangwana and other government ministers came under fire last year when images of bare-nosed top government officials enjoying selves at a birthday bash for Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa went viral on social media.