Perrance Shiri, the former Zimbabwe army general who toppled President Mugabe in late 2017 and was the Lands Minister in Mnangagwa’s government, reportedly died alone in his car while trying to drive himself to a private hospital early in the morning, Wednesday.

Sensing that he was in danger, Shiri called two trusted friends – Norton MP Temba Mliswa and his ministry’s permanent secretary John Bhasera – to come to his assistance, but he was dead by the time they arrived, ZimLive reports.

Shiri, who was not married, is suspected to have succumbed to COVID-19 after his driver was buried last Saturday after dying from the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Officials in Shiri’s ministry, in off-the-record briefings, said the former minister initially fell sick two weeks ago following a trip to Rushinga. He thought he had been poisoned, according to the sources, before his driver tested positive for the virus which has infected 2,817 and killed 40 in Zimbabwe.

The ministry of agriculture has closed its offices for disinfection procedures.