President Mnangagwa’s administration has thrown blundering Defense Minister Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri under the bus after she attacked and blamed China for being responsible for COVID-19 deaths in Zimbabwe.

While mourning the late Minister Ellen Gwaradzimba  Muchinguri was recorded saying “coronavirus was caused by Chinese experiments gone wrong,” apparently blaming them for causing her friend’s demise. In the audio Muchinguri also revealed names of Zanu PF officials who are very ill including Joseph Chinotimba.

The Zimbabwe Government has since distanced itself from Muchinguri’s statement  and said the statement does not represent the position of the government on the matter.

See full statement below:

Press Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable in Response to the Recording Attributed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Honourable O.P.Z. Muchinguri Kashiri Blaming the Chinese for Covid-19

Reference is made to a purported telephone conversation between the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Honourable Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and a journalist, Simba Chikanza that is circulating on the social media platforms.

We wish to make it clear that the sentiments expressed do not reflect the position of the Government of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and China enjoy excellent relations.

The Government does not hold the Chinese Government responsible for the emergence and spread of the coronavirus that has affected every global citizen. Government appreciates that China has exercised global leadership in efforts to find both the cause and a solution to the pandemic.

Constance Chemwayi (Mrs)
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs