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Cleric calls for home-grown COVID-19 vaccine

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2021 at 06:47hrs | Views
APOSTOLIC Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) leader Johannes Ndanga has called on government to capacitate local researchers to develop a home-grown COVID-19 vaccine to cut the country's import bill.

Ndanga told NewsDay yesterday that government should come up with homegrown solutions and vaccines, instead of solely relying on those from China, Russia and India, countries which he said were "pursuing their own interests".

His sentiments came at a time the majority of citizens were reluctant to be inoculated with Chinese-sourced vaccines, while President Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

"We should be very careful of outside countries such as China, Russia and America, lest they have economic interests in Zimbabwe through providing their vaccines, and we should not be blindfolded," Ndanga said.

"Government should put aside a budget and resources for use by our own researchers as we have very capable doctors in our midst. They should be respected and accorded the platform to highlight their excellence."

He said in its inoculation exercise, government should practise a more humanistic approach.

"The government should be a darling of the people. They should be clear that as Christians or as the public we are not against the vaccination, but all we want is fairness on both our natural and religious consciences," Ndanga said.

"The government should learn to consult its stakeholders. No one is refusing the vaccine, but the issue is that information is not fully circulating about it. They should let the public trust them and it's only enabled through consultation platforms."

Federation for Indigenous Churches in Zimbabwe secretary-general Mathias Tsine said Christian organisations should support government in implementation of its policies, especially those meant to improve people's lives.

"I think what is important as the body of Christ, and as Christians, we might have limitations in the field of expertise and understanding of vaccines, and that is why we have knowledgeable people in the public health sector to lead us," he said.

"Mandatory vaccination for me can be likened to the government taking good care of its people. As a Christian organisation, we don't interfere with national policies using doctrinal issues. It's a personal choice, but we advise our members and the public to keep up with whatever brings life."

Source - newsday