ZPP Calls For Transparency In COVID-19 Vaccines Procurement
Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)- a local human rights and public accountability pressure group has called for enhanced transparency in the use of public funds for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
In its latest Accountability Report, group noted that Zimbabweans harbored deep-seated mistrust of government handling of the national purse as a result of lack of commitment in ensuring unfettered access to relevant information by interested parties.
“88.3 percent of the respondents were aware that the government had received donations of the COVID-19 vaccines from China and India. Of the total respondents 68.7% were not aware of any other funds or donations that were administered by the government in the fight against COVID-19 and 87.7% of the respondents indicated that the government could do better in the administration of the funds,” read the report.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Finance and development Minister Mthuli Ncube is on record stating that Treasury has set aside US$ 100 million for the procurement of vaccines but has fallen short in giving updated break-downs of the figures each time the country procures more vaccines.
In June, some health facilities across the country ran out of vaccines amid allegations that some health workers were withholding vaccines for unclear reasons as witnessed by fewer numbers being vaccinated.
Government did little to explain these allegations prompting widespread mistrust in its handling of vaccines and exposed weaker accountability and monitoring mechanisms within the public health sector.
ZPP has however recommended that government interface with the citizens and demonstrate commitment to accountability.
“The government should show deliberate effort in being transparent about all government Programmes and their administration. There should not be any room for guesswork by the citizens of Zimbabwe,” read the report.
This also comes after reports that foreigners are flying in to get the jab for a fee hence no government official has commented on how many have received jabs so far.
Mistrust of government has been exacerbated by findings from the latest Auditor General Report that exposed a host of anomalies in the handling of cyclone idai resources by various government departments.