HARARE – At least three civil servants have been tested for coronavirus after coming into contact with Zororo Makamba, who died from the disease on Monday.
Two aides of deputy cabinet secretary and presidential spokesman George Charamba – his driver and personal assistant – as well as the personal assistant of finance minister Mthuli Ncube have been placed on 21-day quarantine.
Makamba returned from New York on March 9, and eventually tested positive for coronavirus on March 20 leading to his hospitalisation.
Before he was admitted to the Wilkins Hospital in Harare, Makamba – who should have been on self-isolation as per government policy – met dozens of people, visited at least two bars, government offices and a gym.
The 30-year-old broadcaster was behind a series of online explainer videos reportedly commissioned by the information ministry, and paid for by the finance ministry.
Charamba told ZimLive on Tuesday that Makamba had twice been to his office, but on both occasions he had been out. He had, however, come into contact with his personal assistant and driver during the visits.
“When we learnt of Zororo’s condition we called in the health people on Sunday and my two staff members were tested and ordered to self-isolate at home. The tests were negative, but we are not taking any chances and so they will be re-tested before they return to work at the end of the 21-day period,” Charamba said.
Makamba is also understood to have interacted with Ncube’s PA.
Charamba said while Ncube had considered self-isolating, he had been advised to attend Cabinet by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday.
“I understand his PA has also tested negative, but I don’t have the full details on who met Zororo over there. I just heard the deputy minister George Guvamatanga speaking about the matter to the ZBC. They have taken measures,” Charamba added.
For the first time ever, Cabinet met under a tent at State House on Tuesday – away from the Cabinet boardroom at Munhumutapa Building.
Charamba explained: “This is part of leadership compliance with social distancing in the fight against COVID-19. Members of Cabinet sat at least a meter apart in a well-ventilated venue, as recommended by health experts.
“Last night, the president urged businesses to creatively find ways of making their work stations compliant. Cabinet continues to show the way until the pandemic is defeated.”
Zimbabwe has only declared two positive coronavirus cases since the disease’s outbreak in China late last year. By 3PM on Tuesday, the coronavirus had killed 17,250 with 396,236 reported infections worldwide.