HARARE | Norman Mataruka, a former director at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and owner of Manna Resorts died on Monday morning – the latest victim of Covid-19, ZimLive understands.
Mataruka reportedly fell critically ill late on Sunday, but could not find a hospital that could readily take him. At Parirenyatwa, he was told the hospital has a serious shortage of doctors and the facility is already stretched by Covid-19 patients.
He died in the early hours of Tuesday as the family was still scrambling to get him help, a friend said.
A woman answering his wife Joy’s phone said tersely: “There’s no statement to be said.”
Mataruka was one of four RBZ directors suspended in 2019 after they were linked to alleged black market foreign currency dealings. Mataruke, who was director of banking supervision, was later cleared of wrongdoing following an investigation but chose to resign.
Described by friends as “fabulously wealthy”, Mataruka had a vast property portfolio, including the Manna Resort – a sprawling safari lodge in Harare.
ZimLive understands Mataruka last year suffered two strokes in quick succession, and was yet to fully recover.
Meanwhile, Judicial Services Commission secretary Walter Chikwana last week lost both parents to Covid-19.
Chikwana’s father died on July 22, and his mother succumbed on July 25.
Chikwana, his parents and other family members allegedly caught the virus at a family event in Mutare.
Zimbabwe reported 78 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, pushing the total cases to date to 2,512. Of the 78, the ministry of health said 74 were local transmissions – pointing to the rapid spread of the virus in the local population.
The country has declared 35 deaths.