Zimbabwe To Buy $100 million COVID-19 Vaccines

Zimbabwe has set aside $100 million to buy COVID-19 vaccines, but on Sunday, a state-owned newspaper announced that the government is still waiting for its scientists to recommend which form to buy.

The government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, which is struggling with an economic downturn and acute foreign exchange shortages, has been criticised for being too late to announce its vaccination plans.

George Guvamatanga, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, told the Sunday Mail that the government will use the 2020 budget surplus funds and reallocate some of the budget this year to purchase the vaccines.

In November, finance minister Mthuli Ncube announced that a budget surplus for 2020 was planned, although final figures have not yet been released.

Guvamatanga said, “The Government has set aside US$100 million for the vaccines to procure around 20 million vaccine doses to immunise 60 percent of the population, which will help us attain herd immunity,” adding that the government was waiting for advice from scientists on which vaccine to buy and where to procure it.

According to Reuters, Guvamatanga could not be reached for further comments.

For years, the health system in the country has been collapsing and is now struggling to cope with the increase in cases. Two Prime ministers, a former general and other high-ranking officials have been among those who have died in recent days.

Rage among overwhelmed medics adds to wider public frustration with Mnangagwa, who, after a coup in 2017, vowed an economic recovery after he took over from the late Robert Mugabe.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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