Still remember the Kwekwe mortuary which Zimbabwe leader Emmerson Mnangagwa said he helped build before bizzarely holding a ‘dying competition’ where he offered a prize for the family that would be the first to bring a dead body to occupy the then state-of-the-art morgue?

That mortuary- which Mnangagwa last year said had ‘very cold temperatures’ when it was constructed- is now in bad shape and the 78-year old ruling Zanu PF leader has pledged to provide assistance towards its refurbishment.

In his address to predominantly Zanu PF supporters who congregated to witness the Zimbabwe strongman’s second jab of the Covid19 vaccine at Kwekwe General Hospital Thursday morning, Mnangagwa said he was told by the hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Patricia Mapanda that the mortuary at the referral institution was now in bad shape and promised to help refurbish it.

leading by example… Mnangagwa getting his second jab of SinoVacc in Kwekwe yesterday

“I was telling Vice President (Constantino) Chiwenga that for the 25 years I have been here (in Kwekwe), we managed to establish a mortuary inotonhorera (which has very cold temperatures),” said Mnangagwa amid ruptures of laughter from the gathering.

“But as I was discussing with Dr Mapanda, she said the mortuary is now in bad shape and I have tasked the hospital authorities to come up what is needed for the mortuary to function properly so that I will assist them,” said the Zimbabwe strongman in the vernacular Shona.

Speaking at the official handover ceremony of the Laundry and Mortuary Building at Gutu Hospital last year, Mnangagwa attracted widespread criticism, especially on social media, after he claimed to have held a ‘First-to-Die’ competition at the Kwekwe General Hospital mortuary some years ago.

According to Mnangagwa, after completion of the mortuary which had 12 bays, he made an announcement to residents from Mbizo suburb that a reward was going to be given to the family that was going to be the first to bring a dead body to the then newly established state-of-the-art mortuary.

Mnangagwa went on to say that the prize was promptly claimed by a family whose relative had just died in one of the out-patient wards at the hospital.