President Mnangagwa takes COVID-19 vaccine

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Victoria Falls (New Ziana) – In an exemplary move and show of confidence in the Chinese made Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, President Emerson Mnangagwa received his first dose of the drug on Wednesday, signalling the beginning of the second phase of Zimbabwe’s inoculation programme which began last month.

President Mnangagwa received his jab in the resort City of Victoria Falls-where the government is targeting to vaccinate all eligible residents to ensure the safe and unhindered resumption of tourism, a huge economic driver.

He was accompanied to Victoria Falls by leaders of various political parties in the country who also received their jabs.

President Mnangagwa said the second phase was targeting teachers, the security services, the judiciary, the clergy, the elderly and people with chronic conditions while phase three would target the remainder of the eligible population.

“The launch of this phase two vaccination programme here in the City of Victoria Falls, the hub of tourism, attests to my government’s desire to guarantee that the economic journey we began under the second republic continues with even greater momentum,” he said.

“Here in Victoria Falls we envisage the vaccination of all eligible residents so that the city is safe to receive visiting tourists.”

He added: “Today’s event is yet another testimony of resilience and determination by my administration to ensure that Zimbabwe continues towards the achievement of an upper middle income economy by 2030.”

President Mnangagwa urged political leaders in the country to promote the uptake of the vaccine.

“Going forward let us build on the singleness of purpose demonstrated here today and move together in unity love and harmony to build the Zimbabwe we want. As political leaders it is incumbent upon us to galvanise all our people to always act in the national interest and to be productive, honest and hardworking for the prosperity of our great country Zimbabwe.

“Such is the culture and ethos we must all entrench in the Second Republic where patriotism, unity of purpose and value consensus must reign supreme in our diversity and different persuasions. We are one people with one motherland, one national anthem and one country Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Let me reiterate the global call by the world health organisation that no one is safe until everyone is safe. I therefore challenge all of us in our respective communities to accept the vaccination programme and to shun negative conspiracy theories.”

President Mnangagwa said the first phase of the national vaccination programme had been successful, as over 68 percent of the targeted group had been vaccinated.

He commended frontline workers chiefly health and security workers for their dedication to duty.

“Your unflinching service and patriotism to your country and people has seen you emerge true heroes during these distressing times. Well done to you frontline workers,” he said.

He also expressed gratitude to the governments of China, Russia and India for availing vaccines to Zimbabwe.

“Their support and acts of solidarity have gone a long way in ensuring our access to the life saving vaccine doses,” he said.

“On our part as government, we recently procured 1.2 million doses of vaccines from the People’s Republic of China, the initial consignment of these vaccines was received on 16th March 2021 and we expect the remainder early April. Plans are also in place to procure additional vaccines from various sources Including China, Russia and India.”

President Mnangagwa reiterated that the vaccination programme remained free of charge.

Giving closing remarks, MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora, who had earlier received his second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine affirmed its safety.

“I am happy to inform you that I actually received my second vaccination this morning and I am alive, I am fit, I am OK and I have got vitality, this vaccine works,” he said.

“We are happy that we are starting with Victoria Falls, this makes sense because everybody across the political divide stands for the economic development of Zimbabwe, we need to resuscitate our economy, we need to claim our place as the commercial and economic hub of the African continent whose development trajectory leaves no one behind.”
New Ziana

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