An Australian lawmaker has implored Sydney to copy Zimbabwe’s example in a scathing rebuke of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government over its mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe has received rave reviews for its Covid-19 response and special praise from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the way it has confronted the global pandemic.
Julian Hill — the Federal Member for Bruce said only 2,7 percent of Australians had been fully vaccinated and told his parliament that Zimbabwe had done well in this regard.
His praise comes barely a week after South African opposition leader and rabid critic of the Second Republic, Mr Julius Malema, admitted that he was contemplating taking his Covid-19 vaccine in Zimbabwe.
“Only 2,7 percent of Australians have been fully vaccinated. Zimbabwe is doing better.
“The rest of the world has a choice in vaccines, but not Australians. We could have as much Pfizer as we wanted, but the Prime Minister just said no,” he said.
He noted that the vaccination process in his country had become elitist — against a background that the country boasted a Gross Domestic Product of more than US$1,397 trillion.
However, in Zimbabwe the process was free with various awareness campaigns to encourage people to get their jabs.
“The Prime Minister was one of the first people in Australia to get a vaccine. For him, it was a race. But for everyone else it is a long, far queue.
“The prime minister promised Australians we were at the front of the queue for vaccines but today, Victorians wanting to get their first Pfizer jabs are being turned away because there are no vaccines. They have run out,” said the lawmaker.
Zimbabwe has been vaccinating its citizenry using highly rated jabs. Two of them, the Chinese-made Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, were granted Emergency Use Authorisation by WHO.
The country has also received vaccine consignments from India and Russia.
Research conducted by the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) revealed that the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine showed a 97,6 percent efficacy.
Mr Malema, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader last week urged his compatriots to visit Zimbabwe to get vaccinated in what has become the latest endorsement of the way Zimbabwean authorities have managed the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People are being vaccinated in Zimbabwe. I am also considering going to Zimbabwe to get my vaccination. We are going to die before we are vaccinated,” then said Mr Malema.
“You were chasing Zimbabweans away and saying they are taking your jobs. It looks like you are going to be chased away when you go to look for a vaccine in Zimbabwe.”
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said the Government was running around to procure proven vaccines while they were also on the ground educating people about the importance of such jabs.
“The vaccines are free of charge and our advice has been consistent which is; people must get this injection if possible.
“At Government level led by President ED Mnangagwa, efforts are being made to procure vaccines that are enough for us to reach herd immunity.
“Our scientists point to the fact that this vaccine is potentially very helpful. It’s helpful in trying to avert the disaster we are seeing with the Covid-19 disease in other countries.
“We definitely encourage people to get it. We have been telling people about the importance of the vaccines,” said Dr Mangwiro.
In a recent address, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga talked of what Zimbabwe had done in its response to contain the deadly pandemic that has won it special praises.
“Our response has been a combination of health promotion and prevention measures based on raising awareness and community mobilisation.
“The whole of Government and society’s approach helped the country to reduce transmission and Covid-19 associated morbidities and mortalities,” said VP Chiwenga.
Zimbabwe this week tightened control regulations after a surge in infections.