Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has fired Health Minister Obediah Moyo who has been charged with corruption over illegally awarding a multi-million-dollar contract for medical equipment.
Moyo was arrested last month following an investigation by the country’s anti-graft commission. The 66-year-old has been freed on bail and is scheduled to appear in court on July 31.
If convicted, the former hospital administrator faces a fine or up to 15 years in prison.
A statement on Tuesday by government spokesman Nick Mangwana said Moyo was removed from office for “conduct inappropriate for a government minister”.
Dr Obadiah Moyo has been removed from the post of Cabinet Minister with immediate effect. pic.twitter.com/A5oXEOV4KC
— Nick Mangwana (@nickmangwana) July 7, 2020
Moyo is facing charges of corruption and criminal abuse of his office over his role in a deal with a United Arab Emirates-based company to supply personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits.
After Zimbabwe’s opposition condemned the deal, which saw the medical supplies being sold at inflated prices, the government cancelled all contracts with the company, according to local media reports.
The case has received a great deal of attention in a country facing a deepening economic crisis that has seen nurses and doctors demand more pay and adequate protective gear to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
To date, Zimbabwe has registered 787 coronavirus cases and nine related deaths.