Zimbabwe’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has been appointed the health minister, a month after his predecessor was fired over corruption allegations related to coronavirus testing kits.

Chiwenga replaces former Minister of Health Obadiah Moyo, who is accused of illegally awarding a $20m contract for coronavirus testing. He was arrested in June and was freed on bail pending trial.

“President [Emmerson Mnangagwa] has noted the urgent need to stabilise, restructure and reform the national health delivery system to better cope with challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” the president’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) immediately criticised the appointment, saying Chiwenga was not the right man for the job as the country faced a pandemic.

Zimbabwe, whose healthcare system has been struggling from years of neglect, has recorded more than 4,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 80 related deaths, although those figures are believed to be underestimated due to lack of testing.

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