Prophet Uebert Angel, who was appointed as the envoy and Ambassador-At-Large to the Americas and Europe by President Emmerson Mnangagwa is hogging the limelight after a video of him discouraging his followers from getting vaccinated surfaced online yesterday.
The televangelist who was entrusted by Mnangagwa to help shape the administration’s narratives across the world claimed that people should not be vaccinated because it was the mark of the beast, as is said in the Bible.
This comes at a time when the Mnangagwa administration has been on a drive to fight vaccine apathy due to, mainly, religious beliefs.
“…it is a construction…it comes in as just a small thing and then it starts building up to what he really wants it to be. But the mark is already there. The bible does not say it will function, he says when you get it, and you will not buy or sell without it. Is it starting, yes after the vaccine had started? So should you receive the vaccine, absolutely no,” Angel is heard saying in an undated video.
The Sinopharm vaccine, which is largely being used in Zimbabwe, was developed using the tried and tested method of inactivated viruses.
According to Science Planet, traditional vaccines like the Sinopharm and Sinovac, fall under two categories: live attenuated and inactivated.
Live attenuated vaccines use viruses that are viable but modified in the lab. The virus can still replicate; after the modifications, however, it produces immunity. Inactivated vaccines like the Sinopharm vaccine use an inactivated version of the virus or germs.
Since the virus is inactive, it can be injected without causing an illness.
In trying to douse the flames, Angel’s OPEAAL Twitter handle issued a statement saying the self-styled prophet is opposed to “new” ways of manufacturing vaccines.
“OPEAAL would like to clarify Ambassador Angel’s position on COVID-19 vaccines and reiterate that he remains opposed to (new tech) mRNA type vaccines. In Zimbabwe, this is NOT the case and GOVT has approved traditional vaccines (RNA). He urges everyone to adhere to GOVT recommendations,” the statement reads.
His latest controversial remarks come days after another flamboyant prophet, Emmanuel Makandiwa made a surprising U-turn on vaccines having previously discouraged his followers from getting the vaccines.
On Sunday, Makandiwa urged his followers to get vaccinated to protect their jobs and sources of income as the government and other private companies have started turning away unvaccinated employees.
For Angel, the latest wave of controversy goes against the message from the Mnangagwa which has been encouraging mass vaccinations in order to attain a herd immunity of 10 million people before the year ends.
To date,1 562 285 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The country received 800 000 vaccines yesterday with 700 000 more expected today. The tally of doses received by Zimbabwe includes 5.7 million doses which were bought while 385 000 were donated.