President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s nephew and Harare South legislator Tongai Mnangagwa has tested positive to coronavirus (Covid-19) and is urging people who have had contact with him to self isolate and get tested.

In a statement, Mnangagwa said COVID-19 is real, is painful and people must exercise precautions in order to stay safe.

“It is with great dismay that I have to deliver this news to you my friends and colleagues. I have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and I am appealing to everyone who has been in contact with me to take precautionary measures and get tested and/or go into isolation whilst practicing all the safety precautions,” he said.

Mnangagwa added that “This is not something easy, it deters you from your loved ones and also affects the people around you that love you.

“Its is not a situation I would want anyone to be in…. Its a painful road, having to get up each day and hope to make it to the next.

“I sometimes experience pain that is so excruciating that I feel like letting go. This disease has taken away our loved ones and continues to do so and this is sad.

“It would not be fair for me not to open up because I know I work with a lot of people and I do not want to see them lose their lives. I also owe it to the electorate who voted for me to get into Parliament to represent them,” he said.

Mnangagwa becomes the third legislator in Zimbabwe to test positive to the deadly virus following revelations by the Speaker of National Assembly Jacob Mudenda last week that two members from the Transport Committee had contracted the virus.

For fear of further spreading the virus, Parliament decided to adjourn to the 25th of August while safety measures are being put in place which includes fumigation and disinfection of the building.

Cases of COVID-19 have been on an increase since the start of winter, with local transmission now accounting for the greater number.

Currently about 136 000 people have been tested for the virus which has claimed lives of about 70 people across the country.

Health experts have expressed disappointment in the manner in which the government has been reacting and responding to the pandemic.

Tongai Mnangagwa

Last week, Agriculture Minister Perrence Shiri succumbed to the virus, while there are fears that some government officials might have been exposed.

Honourable Mnangagwa urged the country to take virus seriously as many lives are at risk.

“I am appealing to you to take this seriously as a Nation, we are under attack from this deadly pandemic. Let us all stay vigilant and stay safe, this pandemic is taking lives. Kindly continue praying with and for me in this period.

“Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions. Follow advice provided by your local health authority,” he said.