Covid-19: Police, army deployed at chaotic vaccination centres
By Zimstar News reporter
Government is set to deploy police and the army at Covid-19 vaccination centres around the country amid reports of continued chaos characterising the exercise.
This was said by Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare Tuesday.
The minister said government has opened the inoculation exercise to all citizens above 18, adding that authorities have also stepped-up efforts to ensure every willing citizen gets the jab.
“Out of the 2 million doses of vaccines that the Ministry of Health and Child Care received on the 8th of July 2021, every province has received 50 000 first doses except just for Harare metropolitan and Bulawayo metropolitan provinces which received 100 000 doses each.
“A total of 1,5 million vaccines will be distributed this coming week. The nation is informed that vaccination is now open to everybody with frontline personnel still being prioritised at vaccination centres,” she said.
Zimbabwe’s inoculation process, while envied by many countries far and beyond, has been marred by chaos and complaints by ordinary citizens that some unscrupulous health personnel distributing the jab at the centres were involved in acts of favouritism, something that continues to inconvenience those who come early for the crucial national health process.
Mutsvangwa said police and the army will now be roped in to bring order at the centres.
“In order to minimise the time spent in queues, extra personnel from security and defence forces has been harnessed so as to increase the numbers of personnel at the vaccination centres,” said the minister.
The involvement of police and the army in processes aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 is however not new in the country as they have, since outbreak March last year, been tasked to man roadblocks and also enforce other lockdown measures imposed by authorities.
The law enforcement agents’ conduct in executing the national duty has however not been as impeccable as they have often themselves been accused of rights abuses and taking bribes from persons found violating the measures.