PROMINENT Bulawayo businessman, Mr Ashton “Ashy’s” Mpofu has succumbed to Covid-19 related complications.
He died early yesterday morning at Mater Dei hospital, his family confirmed. Mr Mpofu who owned a chain of businesses under his Ashy’s brand inclusive of a hardware shop and a garage, was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday after contracting the Covid-19. He was 49 and leaves behind a wife and four children. He will be buried tomorrow in Bulawayo.
His younger brother, Mr Adolf Mpofu confirmed the news saying that as a family they were still in shock.
“It is true my brother, we have lost Ashy’s, this a difficult time for us as a family,” said Mr Adolf Mpofu.
Mpofu owned Ashy’s supermarkets, commuter omnibuses, cross-border buses and a fuel station in Nkulumane 12. He also ran a number of tender projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He was also a lawyer by training having graduated at the University of Swaziland.
After law school he practised as a lawyer in Swaziland before moving to South Africa where he worked as a magistrate in the Empumalanga Province. Mpofu later left the bench in South Africa to get into business both in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Before enrolling at the University of Swaziland Mpofu had attended John Tallach High School in Ntabazinduna where he did his Form One to Four between 1986 and 1989. From John Tallach he did his A-levels at Mzingwane High School, which he completed in 1991.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo acting provincial medical director, Dr Welcome Mlilo has called on members of the public not to be complacent with the recent decline in Covid-19 cases that has been experienced in Bulawayo noting that already health facilities were operating close to full hence the figures still remained considerably high.
“The cases are indeed coming down of late but it may be a little premature to say that this Covid-19 wave has peaked. We certainly are hopeful that is the case. We are cautiously optimistic. But it’s certainly not the time to lower our guard down yet. The number of cases remains worryingly high, and so does the number of admissions and indeed Covid-19 related mortality.
“The hospitals have been operating at close to full capacity for much of the current Covid-19 wave. We have come across concerning reports of clients not being able to get admitted, but these have been difficult to verify. As of yesterday (Friday), Thorngrove Hospital had a total of 20 admissions, 15 available beds. UBH Arundel Hospital had 43 patients, with a capacity of 60 and Ekusileni Hospital with a current admissions capacity of 15 had 14 admitted patients. In total, these institutions yesterday (Friday) recorded seven deaths,” said Dr Mlilo.
According to figures from the Ministry of Health and Child Care as of Friday the country had 115 445 confirmed cases, including 86 526 recoveries and 3 805 deaths. To date, a total of 1 817 598 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19. A total of 956 new cases and 51 deaths were recorded countrywide on Friday.