Zimbabwe Media reports this week revealed that the three top political figures in the country, ED Mnangagwa, General Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi have been hit hard by the coronavirus, with both General Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi reported to be on Oxygen.
Zimbabwe government operations are reported to be at just 10% of normal.
General Chiwenga And Kembo Mohadi were so sick that they were unable to attend the burial of the late Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister, Ellen Gwaradzimba And liberation war hero, Morton Malianga last week.
There has been a number of conspiracy theory around why senior Zimbabwe government and ZANU-PF officials are dying.
Among the most common conspiracy theories are that:
– Chiwenga brought a vaccine from China and all ministers were injected but it backfired.
– Doctors are killing ZANU officials in hospital. This was said by a Nick Mangwana this morning. The Zimbabwe government is now looking for a doxtoea called Skilled Rebhara (twitter handle @jaytee87)
Victoria Falls Meetings
The case of Chiwenga is most interesting because of reports that he attended multiple secret meetings with the late SB Moyo in Victoria Falls over the Christmas holidays.
Chiwenga, is said to have moved into the Presidential suite at the Victoria Falls Hotel in which SB Moyo was staying before Chiwenga’s arrival. SB Moyo then moved to the Elephant Hills resort.
Both Chiwenga, SB Moyo and Mnangagwa are likely to have into contact with a large number of people during December.
Other Super Spreader Events
This means there were at least 4 super spreader events during December involving Senior ZANU PF and government officials.
1. The Victoria Falls holiday
2. The ZANU PF Central Committee Meeting
3. Monica Mutsvangwa ‘s birthday party
4. Kuda Tagwirei’ s party
The result has been a high number of death and infections among all those who were at these events.
There was also the MDC-T Extraordinary congress and the movement of Zimbabweans from other countries for the Christmas holidays. Its clear that Zimbabwe is vulnerable and could easily become a hotspot.
The following Ministers and senior ZANU PF officials have died in the past week and all of them are connected to the four super spreader events.
Joel Big Matiza
Ret. Major General Paradzai Zimhondi
– First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa is currently in isolaton after catching Covid-19 in December.
What Will Happen Next
– ZANU PF leaders now fear Covid-19 and believe it is being weaponised by their opponents.This is especially true among the Chiwenga faction, which has lost the most. COVID-19 has effectively dealt with factionalism in ZANU PF.
– There is a big possibility that someone in the presidium could die, permanently re-aligning Zimbabwe ‘s political future. A large number of ministers will soon be appointed. Mnangagwa could use this opportunity to appoint members of the opposition.
– It is possible that more ministers could die, or even members of the Presidium, this requires more caution from Mnangagwa and his team. This will slow down government programs and the lockdown will likely be extended.
– Borders are unlikely to be opened soon and restrictions are likely to be in place for longer.
There is likely to be another big wave when restrictions are lifted, resulting in further lockdowns, which could extend over 2 years.
Zimbabwe is on the verge of a chaotic period, where government is not functioning as expected.
Mnangagwa now need to plan for the worst case scenario where most government departments have lost key people.
He also needs to de polarize the political environment and focus peole on the pandemic.
This requires succession planning to be put in place across the whole government.