Zimbabwean High Court Judge Clement Phiri succumbed to COVID-19 complications at his home in Marondera in the country’s Mashonaland East Province days after he tested positive for the respiratory disease.
Justice Phiri’s family also tested positive but later recovered.
A lawyer by profession, Phiri was appointed by late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to the High Court bench in September 2015 along with four other judges, the first to be appointed to the bench after going through public interviews.
Last week, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga extended the country’s national lockdown to Feb. 15.
The anticipated extension was actuated by a spike in coronavirus-related deaths and rising cases.
On Jan. 5, President Emmerson Mnangagwa had imposed a 30-day national lockdown after a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Currently, Zimbabwe has 33,388 coronavirus cases and 1,217 deaths owing to the disease, while 26,044 patients have recovered so far.
“We have a likelihood of new strains and variants circulating. These strains are more transmissible and infectious.
“We are doing genomic sequencing to see if these strains are in our environment; results will be published as soon as we have them,” Chiwenga noted.