PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the country is now ready for a Covid-19 vaccine roll out which will be introduced soon and for free to all citizens.
The President was speaking this afternoon from State House in a State of the Nation Address.
“Our overall national response strategy has reached a stage where we can now introduce vaccines as a second front preventive measure. As such, covid-19 vaccines which have been scientifically ascertained to be safe, will soon be introduced. These will be state-funded and free.
The national vaccination strategy will continue to be guided by the best available scientific evidence and the safety of Zimbabweans remains a priority,” he said.
“Our overall national response strategy has reached a stage where we can now introduce vaccines as a second front preventive measure. As such, covid-19 vaccines which have been scientifically ascertained to be safe, will soon be introduced. These will be state-funded and free. The national vaccination strategy will continue to be guided by the best available scientific evidence and the safety of Zimbabweans remains a priority. A national vaccine deployment framework has also been finalized. The initial objective is to inoculate at least 60 percent of the population to achieve population immunity.
“The first phase of inoculation of the vaccine will see our hardworking frontline workers, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions being prioritised. Nevertheless, government is aware that the vaccines do not provide 100 percent protection, or in part, immunity.
“Government has set aside the requisite financial resources for the purchase of vaccines in line with our policy of pulling national effort and resources. Government will also partner the corporate world and other players in the procurement of vaccines and related consumables.
“The recent meeting convened with the business yielded notable and commendable results
“Convey heartfelt and sincere gratitude to the President of the People’s Republic of China, the government and people of China for their 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.
“We applaud China for taking a leading role of contributing to our national vaccination strategy.
“This kind of gesture is addition to the numerous donations support and interventions made by China since the outbreak of the virus.
“It further attests to the fact that the People’s Republic of China is a true friend of Zimbabwe.
“The partnership under the African Union-Global Fund Covax facility will see our country secure sufficient vaccines.
“Our frontline staff continue to be exemplary, with their dedication, sacrifice and commitment to duty.
“I want to remind you that the war is not yet over. We must renew our vigilance at all times so that we consolidate the current downward transmission trend through masking up, washing hands and practicing social distancing.
“Since the advent of the 2nd Republic, we have strived to cultivate a culture of hard work.
We can proudly say that we are a stronger nation, more united and peaceful. We have stood together in the midst of many challenges, from the economy, cyclones, droughts and now this pandemic.
“Let our spirits not be dampened or deterred by sideshows. We are writing our history and charting our own course. Success and realisation of the vision for economic growth, prosperity and modernisation for our people is on the horizon.
“Through the NDS-1 we remain positive about prospects of notable economic growth beyond 2021.
“We have seen stability of the foreign exchange rate and the prices of goods and services.
“As a responsible and patriotic people, I urge all of us to persistently play our part in maintaining this stability.
“My administration will continue along the path of a balanced budget and balanced economy.
This will be consistently informed by the principles of liberalization and devolved development, which has so far led to the transformation of the social infrastructure landscape in rural areas.
“Government is however deeply concerned with the illegal expansive construction in wetlands and river basins and well as the construction of houses without the requisite infrastructure such as water, sewer infrastructure.
“Henceforth, relevant ministries are being constituted into working groups to focus on social service delivery and arrest the negative impact of unplanned settlements in growth points, rural and urban areas.
“Space must be urgently identified for the relocation of families settled on wetlands and other undesignated spaces.
“The ministry of local govt must urgently identify the affected households and land.
“EMA should identify and designate all wetlands around the country as unsuitable spaces for human settlement.
“Boundaries marking rural and urban land must be redrawn according to relevant laws.
“The current local urban authorities have failed the nation.
“The current agricultural season is promising to result in a bumper harvest, with provinces having received above-normal rainfall. Some dams have reached full capacity, in turn positively impacting our irrigation potential in the coming seasons.
“Govt stands to support the confidence of investors and businesses alike.
“The momentum witnessed in the past few years of increased capacity utilization must continue. Ministries and agencies are available to facilitate the continued flow of trade and exports.
“Let us love our country and do that which is right and in our national interest, with our goal of growth and prosperity in focus, corruption, criminality and delinquency should be permanently banished from our society in favour of peaceful and honest living.
“Those in the criminal justice system and the ZACC are urged to decisively and swiftly bring perpetrators of crime and corruption to book.
“On the international relations front, Zimbabwe is committed to being a good neighbour to all and making a positive contribution within the community of nations for a better world.
“Guided by the ideas of the UN Chatter, we will extend mutual respect to all nations we expect the same from the other members of the global community as we together sustain demography and a more peaceful world.
“I urge us all to remain resolute and hopeful.
“The anxieties will surely end. Zimbabwe is rising, together we will cross the finish line and achieve vision 2030. For now, we must carry on looking after each other, protecting the vulnerable and protecting our loved ones.”