Dr John Mangwiro

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sworn in the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro, bringing to 15 the number of deputy ministers who are part of the new team of ministers entrusted with the mandate to transform the country and economic recovery.

The swearing in ceremony was held at State House this morning and was witnessed by the two vice presidents Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi and several senior government officials.

Dr Mangwiro was accompanied by his wife Mrs Mangwiro and family members.

After taking his oath of office, Dr Mangwiro said his work is cut out as he will work closely with the newly appointed Minister of Health and Child Care to fulfill the President’s vision of modernising the country.

“Modernising the health sector will save foreign currency since people will no longer be going outside the country for treatment,” said Dr Mangwiro.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed minister and his deputy are facing their first test as they have been appointed at a time the country is working to contain a cholera outbreak.

This Tuesday morning, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obediah Moyo toured the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital where he declared a cholera emergency in Harare.

Twenty people have reportedly succumbed to the disease and more than 2 000 have been infected after drinking contaminated water.

The Health Minister said declaring an emergency will enable the government to quickly contain cholera, typhoid and other diarrheal diseases.

Classes at some schools in the affected suburbs of Budiriro and Glen View have been suspended while cooperating partners, United Nations agencies and companies from the private sector have been asked to assist with provision of portable water.

Minister Moyo also announced that vendors have been banned from selling meat and fish in the affected suburbs and the Zimbabwe Republic Police have been notified to enforce the ban.

Harare City Council has not been able to supply adequate water to various suburbs in the capital for years and residents are having to rely on water from open wells and community boreholes, some of which are now contaminated.

Zimbabwe recorded its biggest cholera outbreak in 2008 which left more than 4 000 people dead.