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Zanu PF, MDC Alliance Fight Over Covid-19 Vaccine Roll-Out In Vic Falls

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent


VICTORIA FALLS: THE MDC Alliance and Zanu PF are fighting over glory in the roll-out of vaccination in the country’s prime tourism city.

The government rolled-out vaccination exercise for all willing residents of Victoria Falls starting Monday with the aim of preparing the city for tourism revival.

However, the vaccination has been received with skepticism by some residents questioning why Victoria Falls was chosen ahead of all other cities and towns countrywide.

But the two main political rivals Zanu PF and the opposition MDC Alliance have viewed the inoculation programme as a chance to gain political mileage.

Zanu PF has since donated three party branded vehicles to be used by health teams during vaccination against Covid-19 while the MDC Alliance-led Victoria Falls City council also donated a 7-tonne truck and an ambulance for similar purposes.

The Zanu PF government seems to have soft spot for the MDC-led Victoria Falls council as the city is key to the country’s economy and image on the international scene.

Victoria Falls was conferred city status at the end of last year and it is the only city with a stock exchange besides Harare.

During a meeting with Deputy Health Minister John Mangwiro, glory seeking was evident between the two opposing parties.

“As party district chairman, I want to say we are fully behind this exercise and have donated a vehicle that has been in use by health teams for some time now. Two others are available,” said Mathew Muleya, the Zanu PF district chair for Hwange.

Muleya is also councillor in the Hwange Rural District Council.

Not to be outdone, Victoria Falls councillor Thuso Moyo said: “As an MDC council we also have an ambulance that can be used. We have donated a truck and the ambulance is also available,” much to the amusement of the crowd.

The deputy minister, however, toned down the political undertones and said he was impressed by the cooperation exhibited by a cross section of Victoria Falls stakeholders.

“What Victoria Falls has shown has not been seen anywhere. All stakeholders have come out in support of the programme regardless of political party and religion. This should be replicated in other cities,” he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa will launch the country’s second phase of the vaccination programme in Victoria Falls Wednesday, when he is also expected to receive his first Sinovac dose.