By Charles Mutama
This article will focus on the vaccine roll out which the government of Zimbabwe is conducting at the present moment in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the global population. Citizens recently received news that the government of Zimbabwe was importing the Sinopharm- developed vaccine from China. It is not the intention of this article to verify the efficacy of the Sinopharm-developed vaccine but to spotlight the weakness of the vaccine processes in Zimbabwe.
The Presidential Spokesperson informed the nation that while some doses from China will be free, the government was going to purchase an additional 1.2 million doses from China at a preferential price. The Chinese government regards the donation of the vaccine as “solidarity and action” with Zimbabwe according to the Chinese ambassador.
It is important to note that other vaccines have been developed in the United States, Russia and Europe by Astrazeneca and Johnson and Johnson. There is nothing wrong with immunization and the use of vaccines however the process in Zimbabwe smacks of incompetence in terms of how the government failed to conduct clinical trials of the vaccine before certifying it as safe for use.
Historically, Zimbabwe’s pharmaceutical industry matched international standards with companies such as CAPS and Johnson and Johnson excelling in the field. The mishandling of the vaccine process by the government proves the dysfunction and collapse in our medical sector and our industries in general due to political incompetency and mediocrity. Subjecting the population to a vaccine without clinical trials is putting citizens in peril since vaccines have side effects and the attendant uncertainty around the efficacy of the vaccine in building immunity.
Prof. AGO Mutambara (February, 2021) and the former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe opined that the vaccine process exposed the need for agency in developing the vaccine where Zimbabwe would partner the Chinese and at the same time showed the scientific incompetence of the regime in Harare. Other analysts have pointed to China’s use of the vaccine as a means of extending influence. As the Patriotic Zimbabweans (PZ) party, we perceive the entire process as an expose of everything wrong with the ZANU PF government in failing to prioritize the interests of the country and always engaging in bilateral agreements that do not benefit the nation in the long term.
From the President’s Desk
Patriotic Zimbabweans (PZ) Party