The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa and Robin Muchetu, Sunday News Reporter
ZIMBABWE will next week receive another consignment of Covid-19 vaccine procured by Government from China to bolster the country’s inoculation efforts to achieve the herd immunity, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.
Speaking during a tour of Plumtree Border Post yesterday, Prof Ncube said the country was expecting more doses of the vaccine from China next week to bring the total received vaccines to one million.
The country has already received more than 600 000 doses of SinoPharm vaccines and has now entered the second phase of the inoculation. To date close to 36 000 frontline workers have been inoculated.
“We are importing more vaccines next week which will bring the total to one million doses. It’s important that we get vaccinated. I have been vaccinated and I urge people to do the same.
“The immigration department and the Zimra employees should get the vaccine because it is important to do so considering the nature of their job,” he said.
Prof Ncube said the Government was working on reopening the borders for both vehicular and human traffic.
He said the Government was concerned with the increasing cases of smuggling using illegal entry points.
“We are informed that when you tighten screws here, people cross into Botswana using other illegal entry points. As Government we are concerned and we are going to equip you.
“We have authorised the purchasing of drones to reduce smuggling and illegal migration. Very soon we are going to open up borders for passenger traffic and we expect the borders to be having a lot of pressure and we will see how best we give you support,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zimra Region Two Manager Plumtree border, Mr Bekezela Majokojoko said the revenue authority had witnessed a reduction in revenue as a result of the Covid-19 induced lockdowns.
“In January we collected $127 573 682.40 at Plumtree border and in February we collected $137 484 780.04 In 2020 we collected $1 088 108 702.91 at Plumtree and $166 639.05 at Maitengwe and $231 554.63 at Mphoengs. This year we have received 136 007 incoming travellers and 153 081 outgoing travellers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prof Ncube told Sunday News on the sidelines of a Zanu-PF Provincial Coordinating Committee in Bulawayo yesterday that vulnerable residents living in urban areas will now receive $1 200 for their sustenance as the country moves to ensure its citizens are able to put food on the table amid challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The relief fund is open to all urban dwellers who are currently failing to sustain themselves due to various reasons like unemployment because of the Covid-19.
“We are not targeting any number of beneficiaries, but we are saying all those that need help should come forward and register with the Department of Social Welfare and then they will be screened, registered and then we will be able to pay them.
“We have just raised the amount that they will receive from $600 to $1 200 so it has now become more meaningful,” he said.