China bails out Zim again

February 24, 2021

TINASHE MAKICHI

The Chinese government will  donate additional 200 000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe to help the southern African country overcome the pandemic, Business Times can report.

China, last week, donated the first 200 000 vaccines to Zimbabwe.

“China decides to donate another 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe to support continued progress in Zimbabwe’s national vaccination programme,” the Chinese Embassy in Harare tweeted yesterday.

The announcement of the donation came after Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun held a virtual meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe rolled out the vaccination programme this week with a target to inoculate a fifth of the population. Zimbabwe targets to vaccinate 60% of the population to achieve herd immunity.

The donation comes after Russia and India have donated 12,000 and 75,000 doses respectively. The UK has also pledged to assist Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe will next month receive 600,000 doses it bought from China.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube recently said the government has already mobilised US$100m to buy vaccines despite sending an SOS to individuals and corporates to support the vaccination programme.

China has been Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend after the southern African nation looked East following a breakdown in relations with the West over governance deficit and human rights violations.

Zimbabwe contends that the relations soured after it embarked on a fast track land reforms exercise to redress colonial imbalances.

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