By Anna Chibamu
RESTLESS MPs, who have been clamouring to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic, finally got inoculated Wednesday at the Parliament Building in Harare.
Most of the MPs who were vaccinated on the day were cheerful as they spoke to the media and colleagues.
Zimbabwe received a donation of 200 000 Sinopharm vaccine doses from China since early last week, but legislators were unhappy over delays to vaccinate them as they classified themselves as “a top priority” sector.
Deputy Health Minister John Mangwiro told NewZimbabwe.com at Parliament Building Wednesday that “no major side effects had been realised” since the start of the vaccination programme and his ministry was on high alert.
“We have not heard any adverse reports or major side effects on those who have been vaccinated so far. Even myself, I got vaccinated but I am doing well,” he assured the nation.
Among the MPs injected were the MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora, his deputy Thokozani Khupe as well as MDC Alliance MP Ruth Labode, a medical doctor, who chairs the portfolio committee on health in the National Assembly.
Zanu PF Chegutu East MP and former information minister Webster Shamu was also vaccinated.
“I have taken my first jab and it was not painful. I would like to urge Zimbabweans to get vaccinated because I had Covid-19 a month ago and it almost killed me. That thing is deadly and it is important that people get vaccinated. Let us continue to protect ourselves from this deadly virus,” said Khupe.
She commended how the government was handling the Covid-19 vaccination programme, but demanded the arrest of any government official involved in abusing funds meant for ordinary Zimbabweans to get vaccines.
“Those who steal from the public must rot in jail. They do not belong to this society. This medication is supposed to go to everybody else. Whoever is involved in the theft of PPEs (personal protective equipment) and drugs must be arrested. They must go to prison. It is unacceptable,” added Khupe.
Labode, who also tested Covid-19 positive last year, said she felt relieved after getting her vaccination.
“I have just been vaccinated for Covid-19 and as you know, prior to this I actually had Covid-19. As you can see, all those people I have talking to want treatment. They should know that if I have been vaccinated myself, it means the vaccine is safe,” she said.
Mwonzora encouraged the people to accept the vaccine as tests done on Sinopharm dose proved it was safe.
“The vaccine must not be an elite issue but availed to everyone in need in both rural and urban areas. Everybody is important. We want government to expedite the procurement and delivery of that vaccine. We are so far happy about steps being taken to acquire the vaccine, but we do not want corruption in the process as we are seeing now,” he told NewZimbabwe.com.
MPs were livid this Tuesday accusing the government of neglecting them by not vaccinating them yet they were a “top priority” sector.