BY VANESSA GUZHA
CIVIC organisations under the banner ‘The Peoples Vaccine Campaign Zimbabwe’ have ordered government to present a clear COVID-19 distribution plan to ensure transparency and accountability on how the jabs will be distributed.
The civic groups that include ZimRights, Magamba Network, the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd), and the Citizens Manifesto said the distribution plan must also include clear benchmarks of how government will move into each successive stage.
In a statement yesterday, they also said a COVID-19 vaccine should be viewed as a public good and all Zimbabweans should be advised of when they will be able to access the vaccine.
Government is currently implementing a COVID-19 inoculation exercise, targeting 60% of the population to achieve herd
President Emmerson Mnangagwa got his first dose of the donated Chinese Sinovac vaccine on Wednesday in Victoria Falls.
“We reiterate our call for a clear distribution plan with timelines for each successive stage and clear benchmarks for moving onto each successive stage in the most effective way possible,” the civic groups said.
“There is need for a clear distribution plan to mitigate any perception or possibility of diversion of funds and resources. We caution against the temptation to divert vaccines or make vaccines available to only a few as the demand for vaccines increases by the majority of Zimbabweans,” they said.
The organisations noted with concern the slow uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines and the effect it will have on achieving herd immunity for the protection of Zimbabweans.
They said the success of the vaccination programme would depend on the trust the citizens place in the programme.
The civic groups also said limited supplies could result in those who have financial resources and the politically connected offering bribes to get preference.
“It is concerning to note that the currently limited vaccine supplies could result in those with financial resources or those who are politically connected offering bribes for inoculation without following the phases and stages as highlighted in the government rollout