Zimbabwe's agriculture minister Perrance Shiri has died of Covid-19, becoming the first senior government official to succumb to the pandemic, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Thursday.
Shiri, a retired general who helped plot a coup that ousted Robert Mugabe in 2017, died on Wednesday.
The late liberation war veteran was declared a national hero and will be buried on Friday during a closed ceremony.
"Now that it is confirmed that Minister Shiri died of Covid-19, we will follow World Health Organisation regulations on how the funeral should proceed," Mnangagwa said during a funeral wake at Shiri's home in Harare.
Zimbabwe has recorded 2 879 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 40 deaths as of Thursday evening.
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 pic.twitter.com/r2FBeRNPpT— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) July 29, 2020