Herald Reporter

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has, with immediate effect, been appointed the new Minister of Health and Child Care by President Mnangagwa

VP Chiwenga takes over from Dr Obadiah Moyo who was sacked last month for inappropriate conduct.

In a statement yesterday, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said in appointing VP Chiwenga, President Mnangagwa noted the urgency needed to stabilise the health delivery system in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic where the country has registered an acute surge of cases.

The appointment of VP Chiwenga comes a day after President Mnangagwa appointed Air Commodore Jasper Chimedza as Secretary for Health and Child Care.

Air Commodore Chimedza is the former Director-General Health Services for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and his appointment was with immediate effect.

Air Commodore Chimedza replaces Dr Agnes Mahomva, who was appointed Chief Co-ordinator of the National Response to the Covid-19 pandemic in May this year.

Air Commodore Chimedza is a qualified medical doctor, having obtaining his MB ChB degrees at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) before being attested into the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) in January 1996.

In the statement appointing Dr Chimedza, Dr Sibanda said he was bringing with him a wealth of experience to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, and the health services in general where he is expected to refocus the nation’s health delivery services in order to enhance innovation, integrity, transparency, efficiency and vibrant stakeholder participation as the country fights the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Moyo is facing criminal charges over a procurement deal for overpriced medical supplies that was eventually terminated. He is facing charges of corruption and criminal abuse office over his role in the murky US$60 million deal with medical supplier Drax International.

He was arrested and released on $50 000 bail plus a surety of the title deeds for his wife’s house in Eastlea while awaiting trial.

Dr Moyo becomes the second minister to be fired from the current Cabinet, after former Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira, who was shown the exit in August 2019 on similar grounds. She is on bail pending trial.