Zim VP announced as new Health Minister

Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga's wife was arrested last month on allegations of attempted murder, fraud and contravening the country's exchange control laws.

Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was announced as the new appointed Health Minister on Tuesday.

AFP/Jekesai Njikizana

HARARE - Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday appointed his deputy Constantino Chiwenga as the new health minister, tasking him with reforming a decaying health sector amid a rise in COVID-19 infections and strikes by health workers.

READ: Zim health minister charged over virus kit scandal 

Chiwenga replaces Obaddiah Moyo who was removed from the post last month after allegations of corruption.

In his new role, Chiwenga will be required to "stabilise, restructure and reform" the national healthcare system, the government said in a statement.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)immediately criticised the appointment, saying Chiwenga was not the right man for the job in a time of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Zimbabwe sacks health minister on corruption rap

Zimbabwe has recorded more than 4,000 COVID-19 cases and 80 deaths and health officials say infections will continue to rise for some time.

The MDC said in appointing Chiwenga, Mnangagwa had shown a "gross display of incompetence."

Chiwenga spent four months in China receiving medical treatment for an unknown illness until November last year. He has returned three times since then for medical check-ups, according to government officials.