Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa and members of the Cabinet will take the lead and get vaccinated when the second batch of vaccines are delivered in the country in the next two weeks.
This comes following the donation of 200 000 more vaccines by China which has also availed 1,8 million doses of vaccines for purchase by the Government.
When the first batch of 200 000 doses of vaccines donated by China arrived in the country last week, President Mnangagwa, assigned his deputy Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Heath and Child Care, to lead the vaccination programme by taking the first jab.
Speaking at the commissioning of Epping Forest Water Supply Augmentation Project for Bulawayo and groundbreaking ceremony of the Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline project in Nyamandlovu, Umguza District, Matabeleland North yesterday, President Mnangagwa encouraged Zimbabweans to take up the vaccination.
“Last week saw the rollout of the first phase of our National Covid-19 vaccination programme which targets frontline workers, the security sector, the elderly and those with underlying conditions,” said President Mnangagwa before requesting VP Chiwenga, who was in attendance, to join him on the podium.
“Social media was saying the leadership will not be vaccinated, on that particular day, we had various engagements so I called my Minister and Vice-President to get the first jab so that you know that the vaccine is safe. I-vaccine leyi i-right, liyithathe.
“The Vice-President of the country had the first jab and he is still here. My Cabinet and myself in two weeks when the next consignment comes, we will be vaccinated,” said the President.
He assured the nation that more vaccines are coming and people will have the chance to be vaccinated.
The President said on Wednesday afternoon, he got communication from Chinese President Xi Jinping through his ambassador to Zimbabwe that the country was donating an additional 200 000 Covid-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe bringing the total donation to 400 000 doses.
“The Ministry of Health supported by (Finance Minister Professor Mthuli) Ncube also bought two sets yesterday, 600 000 doses which will come during the first two weeks of March and another 1,2 million doses,” said President Mnangagwa as he reiterated that the vaccines are free.
“There are so many companies that have come forward who want to import the vaccines and sell them, we have said no. If any company buys vaccines, they must be distributed freely.”
President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to China for the donation of vaccines saying procurement plans of other vaccines from India and Russia were at an advanced stage.
“Meanwhile, let us mask up Zimbabwe and continue to adhere to the laid down health protocols,” said the President.
He called on Zimbabweans to remain vigilant in the fight against Covid-19 saying he was pleased that the country’s prevention measures were showing good results.