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Zimbabwe can do more than just receiving covid-19 vaccines donations - Mhondoro-Ngezi SMP

by Maxwell Teedzai
11 Jul 2021 at 09:09hrs | Views
In a recent telephone conversation with this reporter, the Shadow-Member of Parliament (SMP) for Mhondoro-Ngezi Constituency situate in Mashonaland West Province has commended the Government of Zimbabwe for standing strong in the fight against the novel COVID-19 virus but, he, however, also bemoaned the fact that the donor dependency syndrome taken by the State to stop the further spread of the disease were not a means sufficient in itself to ensuring that everyone in the country had access to the vaccine and in the shortest time possible.

"When the Vice-President Rtd General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga took over the Ministry of Health, the entire populace were quite hopeful and in no time the industrial strikes and labour grievances in the healthcare sector were took on a new twist and saw health workers return to work and health institutions were immediately revived but my outcry is "kuti" as a nation it is good to rest easy and depend solely on COVID-19 vaccine donations but instead I think the Government of Zimbabwe must fork out money from Treasury to procure enough COVID-19 Vaccines in time so that every Zimbabwean has direct access to the jabs and doing so will go a long way in showing commitment and some seriousness on the part of Government in arresting the further spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic," said Honorable Kurebwa Javangwe Nomboka, the shadow MP for Mhondoro-Ngezi.

Meanwhile, the SMP for Mhondoro-Ngezi has also called on Government to honor it's pledge to disburse millions of dollars in COVID-19 allowances for both the general public and workers.

Apparently, there has never been any financial support from the Government of Zimbabwe to cushion citizens whose source of living were brought to a dead shot due to the lockdown and other restrictive measures the Ministry of Health are enforcing across the country.

"On the one hand, he added, the Finance Minister has also not been clear on the budget Government has set aside to fund the program to fight the further COVID-19 pandemic and itseems our elected legislators are not doing much to ensure that there is more transparency and accountability on Government's commitment to fight COVID-19, what if those countries stop these donations it means everyone is going to die, and I think those MPs in Parliament seem to be just seated and rioting in the benefits of luxury cars, diplomatic passports, Community Development Funds (CDFs), and allowances while they fail to do what the electorate entrusted them to do in Parliament, issues to do with routine checks and balances of financial flows in Goverment and also ensure the Executive does not abuse funds meant to off-set the unbearable burden the public is carrying during this deadly COVID-19 pandemic era before the disease can claim more lives".

The Honorable SMP has also taken a swipe on the complacency of legislators whom he blamed for being careless and wantonous while civilians continued to be denied their right to healthcare as regards access to Government COVID-19 funds meant to benefit the ordinary people.

"We want to know "kuti" mu"fiscus medu hamuna mari here" how much we have left and to come out clear on how much Government has pumped out so far, since 2019 as they continue to fight COVID-19, and I'm saying people were asked to register their names to receive COVID-19 benefits but none in my constituency got a cent (workers, citizens and old people). And Mr Mthuli's budget is not sensitive to the need on the ground and you all know how the Finance Minister reduced the tax-free threshold from the Robert Mugabe's US$300 to a meagre US$70 - meaning that every employee in this country including domestic workers and herdmen will now be taxed by Government, and this to me is morally wrong because we all participated in the coming-in of the new dispensation of Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa's Second Republican Government when we took to the streets on the historic November 2017 week as we celebrated the demise of the Mugabe Regime but now they are taking-away our only source of income and livelihood from us the ordinary Zimbabweans on the streets, this I consider to being both heartless and ruthless"

The 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état that took place between 14–21 November 2017 week  succeeded Robert Mugabe when he resigned from the office of President of Zimbabwe after impeachment proceedings were initiated and Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa who is exile where he had fled two weeks ago (before week 14-21 November 2017) when he had learned of a plot to kill him. He later returned home to become the 3rd President of Zimbabwe.

The resignation of Zimbabwe's second President, the late Mr Robert Gabriel Mugabe immediately brought to an end 37 years of rule and sparked jubilant celebrations in the nation's streets.

Hon Nomboka also spoke on the need for Ministry of Mines to have a more coherent strategy in ensuring that the country's extractive sector employees are catered for in Goverment's COVID-19 Vaccination program.

"We welcome SinoVac vaccine and our request is that Government caters for mine workers and ensure that they get the vaccine and also that they be paid thier monthly salaries in United States Dollars (USD) since no mineral which they mine is sold in rtgs$ (Zw Local Currency)"

Mr Nomboka, who is also the Acting President of the NMWUZ-National Mine Workers' Union of Zimbabwe has argued saying, "Salary for a low paid mine worker must be in USD and above (PDL) Poverty Datum Line which is currently pegged at USD600".

The legislator has demanded Professor Mthuli's Finance Ministry to immediately consider reverting the tax-free threshold to where it used to be, that is USD300 or above from USD70 where it currently stands and that if Government refuses to ignore the cllarion call by mine workers, protests and endless strikes in the extractives sector would become the 'new normal' of doing business.

"We will not allow this unchanging paraphernalia of modern-day slavery to go unwatched in this, our 21st century, we mean 'kuti if Mr Mthuli's Ncube akasateerera kudzosera tax-free threshold yedu pa300 YUWESI,' we will definitely protest and have endless strikes to show our disgruntlement as mine workers".

Source - Maxwell Teedzai