Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister and a retired general who helped plot the ouster of Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, Perrance Shiri, has died.
The 65-year-old minister passed away at a private hospital in the capital, Harare, in the early hours of Wednesday.
His death was announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in a statement without details on how he died.
“Shiri was a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country,” Mnangagwa said in a statement.
But local media reports that the minister succumbed to complications from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
Shiri commanded the army’s Fifth Brigade unit that carried out the 1980s massacres of thousands of civilians in western Zimbabwe as the government sought to quell an insurgency.
He commanded the air force for 25 years until he joined the government in 2017.