GOVERNMENT Saturday rebuked as “ridiculous” claims by MDC Alliance party secretary-general Chalton Hwende that huge turnout experienced at the health centres of citizens seeking Covid-19 jabs was due to the opposition party’s campaign.
Covid-19 national vaccination programme started in February this year with a very low uptake as people were skeptical of the vaccines.
However, with the increase in new infections and Covid-19 related deaths, the number of people seeking vaccinations has increased significantly with health facilities failing to cope with the rising demand.
According to Health Ministry Friday, people who had been vaccinated were 1 400 905. The government is targeting 10 million people or 60% of the population by December.
Hwende said the increase in the uptake of Covid-19 inoculation was as a result of “a sustained campaign by the MDC Alliance leadership”.
“Statistics show that the number of Zimbabweans who were vaccinated increased significantly this (last) week following a sustained campaign by the MDC Alliance leadership encouraging citizens to get vaccinated against Covid-19,” Hwende claimed.
“We continue to encourage all citizens in both rural and urban areas and across the political divide to get vaccinated so that the country can achieve herd immunity against Covid-19. Together we can defeat Covid-19.”
However, Information Ministry secretary Nick Mangwana told NewZimbabwe.com Saturday Hwende’s glory-seeking claims were “ridiculous”.
“When people are looking for relevance they can say anything including ridiculous things, ” Mangwana said.
“People are not queuing to get jabs because Hwende says so. It is government, whose coordinated structures including the risk communication team, working flat out to get the message to every citizen to make people aware that it is only through vaccination that as a country we can win against Covid-19.
“Government is doing door-to-door campaigns to encourage people to be vaccinated and the objective is to leave no one behind.”
Mangwana challenged the MDC Alliance to prove its relevance in Chitungwiza where only 20 000 people are fully vaccinated in a population of more than one million people.
“Chitungwiza where the MDC Alliance commands a relative following is not responding to the Covid-19 vaccination programme. So it is no brainier to give credit to the MDC Alliance over people who are queuing for vaccines especially in rural areas where the opposition do not have structures.”
Speaking in the resort city of Victoria Falls last March while launching China’s Sinovac vaccine programme, President Emmerson Mnangagwa took a swipe at the MDC Alliance accusing the opposition of denigrating the Chinese-made jabs.
“It is rumored that some people from certain political persuasions have gone to certain embassies quietly to get vaccinated. As time goes by, we will get to know them,” Mnangagwa told crowds gathered for the event. – Newzim