HARARE – Chief Mashayamombe and former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Kombo Moyana became the latest high-profile figures to die from Covid-19 in Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
Amai Mumbengegwi, the wife of former foreign affairs minister and Zanu PF politburo member Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was also reported to have succumbed to the respiratory illness on the same day.
“He is reported to have developed breathing problems yesterday and was taken to Norton Hospital where he died upon arrival in the evening,” government spokesperson, Nick Ndavaningi Mangwana said of Mashayamombe, who died aged 86.
The trio’s passing came as Zimbabwe reported 52 deaths from coronavirus and 783 new infections, bringing the country’s death toll to 825.
Cases also increased to 28,675.
The latest death count is the second-highest after 60 fatalities were recorded on Monday, meaning 112 people have died from Covid-19 in just two days, a shock acceleration.
Born Ignatius Steven Chiketa, Chief Mashayamombe’s dynasty is reportedly linked to the spirit medium, Mbuya Nehanda, in the Zezuru tribe in the Mhondoro area, Mashonaland West province.
In 2013, he astonished many people by graduating from the University of Zimbabwe with a Master of Science Degree in Peace, Leadership and Conflict Resolution, alongside Midlands traditional leader, Chief Ngungubane Mkwananzi Zama Nthua.
And Moyana, who made history by becoming Zimbabwe’s first black central bank chief between 1983 and 1993, was mourned by many including one of his successors, Gideon Gono, who described him as an “illustrious governor.”
“The sudden departure of Zimbabwe’s illustrious governor, the first black man to put his signature on our currency and stood guard over its value to his last day in office is a serious blow to our pool of indomitable expertise and experience,” Gono said in a eulogy posted online.