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MDC Alliance stuck with unregistered COVID-19 vaccines from US embassy

by Shelton Muchena
20 Jul 2021 at 17:39hrs | Views
Deputy chief secretary George Charamba, Presidential spokesperson has claimed that the opposition MDC Alliance received half a million COVID-19 vaccines from the United States (US) embassy.

Charamba was responding to a tweet by Harare Mayor, Councillor Jacob Mafume which read:

These are extraordinary times. We have to be vaccinated at a faster pace to protect ourselves & our loved ones. Like @hwendec I have had mine: to give our bodies a fighting chance. All & any vaccines are a must. All council clinics should have them.

Below is Charamba's statement.

"MDC-Alliance is in a bit of a bind which it now seeks to resolve, abortively aided by the undiplomatic US man here. They have been given two tranches of American vaccines, in total amounting to half a million doses, for a political vaccination programme through which they hope to checkmate the goodwill that has accrued to ZANU-PF through a sprite public vaccination programme. The two vaccines they have been given are not registered in Zimbabwe. Therein lies their dilemma!!! The laws of the country do not allow importation of unregistered vaccines!!!"

The US Embassy strategy has been to desperately stampede the Ministry of Health to allow Govt to accept importation and administration of those unregistered vaccines, using Covax facility. This would then provide cover to this political donation. Unfortunately for them, Chinese, Russian and Indian vaccines which are now registered for use in the country, are now registered with the WHO, making them part of the Covax menu. Zimbabwe insists that any assistance under Covax limits itself to those registered vaccines.

The US and their MDC-Alliance lackeys are n a real bind. And so desperate is the US Mission here to have US vaccines registered through executive directive - not through the relevant authorities - that a top Embassy official impudently wrote directly to Health ministry hoping for a directive.

In terms of diplomatic communication eqtiquette, Embassies write to line ministries through Foreign Office, a route which this top Embassy official decided to sidestep out of desperation. Of course, Foreign Ministry was not amused & rapped knuckles of the official. Meanwhile MDC-Alliance stands unstuck and transfixed, with the item getting repeatedly deferred at their top meeting. Upshot: the new, frenetic pro-vaccination messaging by the MDC-Alliance officials and Party is not a change of heart or greater public health awareness. It is political. Handei tione!!!!!

Source - Shelton Muchena