HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s defense minister has described the coronavirus as God’s way of punishing the United States and other western countries for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, prompting the president to issue a statement Monday restating his government’s commitment to fighting COVID-19.Oppah Muchinguri, the defense minister, appeared to mock Western nations while addressing a group of ruling party supporters at the weekend.“This coronavirus that has come are sanctions against the countries that have imposed sanctions on us. God is punishing them now and they are staying indoors now while their economy is screaming like what they did to ours by imposing sanctions on us,” Muchinguri said at a rally in Chinhoyi, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of the capital, Harare, according to local reports. A video of her statement has gone viral.“(Donald) Trump should know that he is not God. They must face the consequences of coronavirus so that they also feel the pain,” she said in the local Shona language.Muchinguri’s utterances prompted massive criticism from opposition politicians, humanitarian organizations and ordinary Zimbabweans on social media.Zimbabwe has not yet recorded a case of COVID-19 but neighboring South Africa has more than 60 cases. Across Africa, 30 of the continent’s


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