Lands and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri has died after allegedly contracting Covid-19 from his driver.
The former Airforce Commander Shiri missed cabinet on Tuesday with reports suggesting that he had been admitted to a local hospital for Covid-19 treatment.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed on social media:
I am deeply saddened to inform the Nation of the death of the Minister of Agriculture, Air Chief Marshall (rtd) Perrance Shiri, a long time friend and colleague. Cde Shiri was a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country.MHRIP
Other high profile politicians have since passed on their condolences on social media:
I’m gutted to just receive news that Rtd. Air Marshal, Hon. Perrence Shiri popularly known as “Gudo Guru” during the liberation war, is no more. A true nationalist & Commander par excellence, the late Shiri was one of the hard working & effective members of Cabinet. MHDSRIEP
*Rtd. Chief Air Marshal Shiri, gone to join his late son Tito….. my sincerest condolences
Deepest condolences on the sad departure of Rtd Marshall Shiri. Zororai zvakanaka Muturikwa, Mangwende. MHDSRIP.
Retired Airl Marshall Perrance Shiri is no more. This is devastating news. Rest In Peace Air Commander. Zimbabwe is poor without you.
However, the cause of death is still not clear but it is highly suspected that he succumbed to the novel virus.
Yesterday Perrance Shiri (born Bigboy Samson Chikerema) was admitted at an elite hospital after his driver died of the deadly Coronavirus.
Online publication ZimLive talked to George Charamba, the spokesman for the presidency and cabinet, told ZimLive:
The minister’s driver died from the virus and it is only normal that the minister goes into self-isolation, and in the process miss cabinet, as a contact of his former driver.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says 4 people died of Covid-19 in Manicaland, Bulawayo and Mashonaland East today, taking Zimbabwe’s official death toll to 40.