As Covid continues ravaging the country, state media this week repeated the message about the impending arrival of vaccines.
Noteworthy was the wording which simply stated that, “the country is set to take delivery of Covid-19 vaccine in the next few weeks”.
Prior to that another state media article had vaguely postulated about arriving vaccines and drawn the ire of many with its interplay of could and should, seeking to win political points with an empty-story.
Acting Information Minister Jefferson Muswere’s announcement about receiving vaccines from COVAX was a could and maybe story hinging on external goodwill.
COVAX is a global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
On Saturday President Mnangagwa, responding to the spike in infections and deaths delivered a statement on the Covid situation.
It was an ambiguous promise of help being on the way that gave no timelines or names.
There was no definite position of what they are planning on doing.
“Government has engaged countries which have developed vaccines, help and relief are on the way”, he said.
It was just another diplomatic statement from a leader whose administration is waiting upon global goodwill and has nothing of its own.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga earlier this month stated that, “government is following the development and dissemination of Covid-19 vaccines by other states, with keen interest.
“Despite the observations made that other African, European and Asian countries had started rolling out vaccines, Zimbabwe adopted a measured approach, with experts interrogating all safety concerns”.
The statement again left a lot of unsaid things hanging and gave no definite direction on such modalities of when the vaccines will be bought, from where and how the programme will be carried out.
National Covid-19 Taskforce Coordinator Dr Agnes Mahomva has been equally vague about the actual vaccination plan.
“We want to re-assure our communities, religious leaders. Religious groups and so on that Government is dedicated to ensuring that whatever we provide for treatment or prevention is safe for everyone.
The Government will never plan on providing something that will damage communities and individuals”, she added.
Her statement though responding to the largely unfounded conspiracy theories about the dangers of the vaccine did not provide much light on the practical modalities about the acquisition of the vaccine.
We are none the wiser.
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has voiced the same concerns.
“Government is talking about vaccines coming but with how it has failed to roll out a simpler testing plan I am apprehensive.
“Where is funding coming from; there was nothing in the budget. Is it the Global Fund?
“More needs to be said so that we understand what is really going on”, he said.
Mliswa’s apprehension is based not just on the lack of clarity from Government on the vaccination plan but the administration’s track record which is littered with propaganda and nothing practical on the ground.
At the advent of Covid Government, through the then Health Minister Obadiah Moyo, constantly reassured the nation that it was ready to deal with the virus.
There were tours around the supposed Covid centres and multiple statements but when the various finally broke out in earnest nothing was ready.
There was no PPE, there was no proper system and the one in place buckled and failed within a few days.
Today even the toll line for the Rapid Response Team does not work. No one will come and the situation has slowly become an each man for himself.
The actual advice even from health practitioners today is that its more dangerous to be admitted into a hospital than to stay at home.
Many have come to accept the use of natural herbal medicines such as Zumbani and kunatira against the alternative of going to hospital or acquiring pharmaceutical medicines.
This speaks to the tragic failure of the government’s plans.
The same is now feared with the vaccination plans.
Government does not seem to have anything ready.
It’s common knowledge that financially it’s weak and without the support of international partners such as Global Fund it will be difficult for the programme to succeed.
Perennial with this administration has been an inability to surmount the cheap boundaries of electioneering and politicking in instances where they need to act as statesmen and leaders.
They have consistently failed and chosen to pander to the whims of propaganda instead of being practical, sincere and working for a progressive result.
Now that Covid has reached high levels of government maybe this time they will act differently.