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PUDEMO warns Government against looting donated E459.5million for COVID-19 vaccines

Saturday, 10th April, 2021

MBABANE: Brian Sangweni, the Spokesperson of the People's United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) has warned Government not to loot the donated E459.5million again meant to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

This comes after Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health announced that government has managed to raise the said amount that would be used to procure COVID-19 vaccines. In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the Minister said government has set aside E200 million for the procurement of vaccines, there were also donations from the  Kirsh Foundation and the government of Taiwan that amounted to  about E 259.5 million.

"We continue to engage in other bilateral consultations with manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccines with the aim of sourcing additional vaccine doses through direct procurement with available funds, which include the E 200 million set aside by His Majesty’s Government, $15.8 million (E 237 million) from the Kirsh foundation and $1.5 million (E22.5 million) from the Republic of China (Taiwan)", reads the statement in part. 

But Brian Sangweni the Spokesperson of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) said it was too early  to celebrate as government had squandered previous donations. 

"What we can only celebrate is the provision of quality COVID-19  vaccines, history has taught us that in this period of COVID-19 we have celebrated so many donations that were squandered by this government and never benefited the people, and the public can attest to that. So we will not celebrate until the people receive the final product which is the vaccines", said the PUDEMO Spokesperson.

When reached for comments, Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) said they appreciated the donations  but government  needed to procure quality vaccines other than the controversial AstraZeneca vaccine. 

"The donations came at a time when the country was in dire need of the vaccines. We would like to implore government and the Ministry of Health to ensure that they procure a vaccine that is in line with prevailing variant in the country .AstraZeneca has a lot of queries in many countries and the European Union's Medical council has announced that there are risks of blood clots associated with it", he said.

PUDEMO warns Government against looting donated E459.5million for COVID-19 vaccines
Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku urges.