Investigations done by The Standard and the Information for Development Trust (IDT) have revealed that Zimbabwe could have been given the 200 000 free doses by Sinopharm a Chinese state-owned entity on condition that the country would buy 1,8 million more doses, The Standard reports.
The shady deal was reportedly negotiated by a government team that comprised of acting Foreign Affairs minister Amon Murwira, head of the Covid-19 taskforce Agnes Mahomva and Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro, and security sector representatives.
A government official privy to the negotiations said:
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China’s offer was accompanied by a condition that the donation translates to 10% of what Zimbabwe would buy from Sinopharm In the deal, China simply said, we give you 200 000 vaccines as a donation, that should be 10% of what you are going to buy from us. That means Zimbabwe will get two million Sinopharm doses
A Finance Minister Insider has also said the same thing will happen with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine which is being favored by the government on the basis that it is said to be efficient when it comes to dealing with the South African variant:
Johnson & Johnson will donate 50 000 jabs and in response, the country will buy one million vaccines from them
Russia is believed to be offering the same to the government in negotiating for the Russian vaccine:
Russia offered its Sputnik V vaccine after China, and has also given conditions we give you (some for free), and then you pay for other vaccines
The demands are the same as those made by China, but how much to buy is still under negotiation.
Government sources also said the same MO was used by India, which donated 75 000 doses on condition that Zimbabwe will buy one million doses.
The Deputy Minister of Health Dr. John Mangwiro however denied reports that these donations have conditions attached to them and said:
There is nothing like that. We were simply given a donation and no conditions were attached. We are going to buy from China what we want and that is why we are also negotiating with Russia for the Sputnik V vaccine.
Zimbabwe is expected to receive 600 000 doses from China next week.
More: The Standard