By Br. Alfonce Kugwa
About 288 out of 416 priests and religious under the Catholic Archdiocese of Harare were vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine at the Jubilee Hall in the capital today. Priests and Sisters of different age groups received a jab of the vaccine in response to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s invitation to have men and women of the cloth vaccinated. First to receive the jab was Archbishop Robert Ndlovu who led his team in receiving the vaccine in the fight against Covid-19.
The invitation through the ZCBC President, Archbishop Robert Ndlovu was extended to catholic Priests and religious around the country to participate in the national vaccination against Covid-19 programme.
In his letter of invitation, Vice President Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care wrote: “I have been directed by His Excellency the President and the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa, to formally write to you, Your Grace, as Head of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’Conference.
By this communication and on behalf of Government, I formally invite you and your hierarchy to participate in the National Vaccination Programme against the global COVID-19 pandemic which has hit our nation, claiming many lives.”
“Government is fully conscious of the important role which you play both personally and collectively as spiritual guardians of our God fearing Nation. Equally Government knows and fully appreciates the services your institutions offer to our Nation, most notably in the key sectors of Health and Education. Indeed, these services rendered by Churches are far flung, extending to remote communities which for so long were disadvantaged, marginalised, or even out rightly excluded.”
According to the Archbishop’s Secretary, Fr. Ngwenya, the vaccination exercise excluded seminarians from Mazowe and Chishawasha whom he said will be vaccinated at a later date.
Other dioceses are still organising how their members will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in due course.