Zim vaccination drive breaches 2 million milestone as ‘Ndebeles dodge jab’

By Nkosana Dlamini

Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 vaccination drive breached the 2 million milestone Thursday amid worrying signs the process was still slow in the three Matabeleland provinces.

According to government, by Thursday, Harare had the highest number of people who have fully taken the lifesaving jab – at 323 136 – while Bulawayo is fifth with 181 516.

Matabeleland South has the least number of vaccinated people in the country with 98 981 while Matabeleland North has 155 223.

Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South provinces are predominantly Ndebele.

The situation is different with other provinces which see Harare highest while Manicaland is second with 260 773 people having been fully vaccinated.

In terms of cumulative Covid-19 cases, as of Thursday, Bulawayo and Manicaland were almost equal, at over 13 000.

Bulawayo has 714 cumulative deaths arising from Covid-19 while Manicaland has 450.

Harare remains highest with 1 468 deaths.

Zimbabwe is keen to notch the 10 million herd immunity threshold by end of the year, a condition that has been introduced by government for the country’s economy to fully open up.

To achieve the ambitious feat, government has lit fires under the feet of many locals still reluctant to take their jab, making the process almost compulsory.

On Tuesday, government issued a ban from work, on all unvaccinated civil servants.

The unpopular order has been extended to congregations and restaurant patrons.