A RETIRED military general, who’s among the masterminds of the coup that ousted Robert Mugabe in 2017, is the most prominent figure to succumb to Covid-19.

Perence Shiri, who was a former air force commander, has died at the age of 65.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that he died from complications from the pandemic that has claimed 40 lives from 2 817 cases.

Shiri had reportedly been admitted to hospital two days earlier after complaining of respiratory problems.

He was minister of land, agriculture and rural resettlement at the time of his death.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed him to the position in December 2017, a month after Mugabe was dislodged in a coup plotted by military generals.

He was retained in that portfolio after Mnangagwa won elections which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change claimed was marred by rigging.

“Comrade Shiri was a true patriot who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country,” Mnangagwa said. – CAJ NEWS