In most societies in Zimbabwe, when fathers temporarily travel whether to attend a funeral or visiting relatives, spending a few days there; the news is always good to impish children, puckish neighbours and opportunistic villagers.
The source of happiness for the three often differs. For some they want to take advantage of the absence of the father for their shenanigans, push their nefarious agenda and sometimes to harm the family. For the naughty children it would be time to experiment and just to be mischievous without check.
The phrase, “when the cat is away the mouse rejoice” comes to mind in this case.
When the father returns, he had a mammoth task; disciplining some children, reprimanding some neighbours, thanking some neighbours, putting some records straight among other tasks.
President Mnangagwa, the father of our country had travelled; a lot happened and said while he was away.
When news filtered in that President Mnangagwa, will be taking his holiday break from 01 January to 02 February 2021, government detractors rejoiced and this saw the hiking of prices of basic commodities, propagation of misinformation on the COVID-19 pandemic, flooding of houses built on wetlands and others.
He, however officially returned to work on 02 February 2021 to a hectic schedule that included making far-reaching decisions on the COVID-19 vaccine and its roll-out plan as well as deal with the relocation of people who built houses on wetlands and other pressing issues.
When the father was away a lot of heterodoxies were being peddled regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The record was set straight on Thursday; COVID-19 vaccine is for free.
There were recent conflicting media reports, where Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube was misquoted as having said that some citizens will have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine, with Government only catering for frontline workers and the most vulnerable members of society.
The country’s detractors received this narrative with pomp and funfair as they had another reason to attack the Government. Some of them were already saying Zimbabwe was the only country that intends to sell the vaccine to citizens, throwing all sorts of insults on the Government.
The President added that the rolling out of COVID-19 vaccines scientifically ascertained to be safe, will be State funded with all citizens set to access the doses for free as Government is finalising the National Vaccine Deployment Framework.
Government targets to initially immunise at least 60 percent of the population to achieve “population immunity”.
The first phase of immunisation is primarily targeting frontline workers, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
President Mnangagwa said Government has set aside the requisite financial resources for the purchase of vaccines.
This is in line with Government policy of pooling national effort and resources, his administration will also partner the corporate world and other players in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and related consumables.
Now that the record on COVID-19 vaccine has been set straight, what is left is for Zimbabweans to unite and embrace the vaccine to curb the spread of the pandemic.