By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
Informal Traders in Bulawayo, Tuesday turned out in huge numbers to get their first jabs of the Covid-19 vaccination.
Today was the first day of a 10 day vaccination programme introduced by the government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Permanent Secretary for Information, Nick Mangwana on Monday said the program is targeting 15000 Bulawayo’s informal traders.
“BULAWAYO, tomorrow 6 July will see the start of a 10 day Covid 19 vaccination program targeting 15000 informal traders at market places largely considered as hotspots. The program will commence at the City hall, Renkini, Sokusile and will roll out to other market places in the city,” he wrote on twitter.
Bustop TV crew visited City Hall and Renkini where hundreds of informal traders were inoculated.
Police officers on duty had a hard time controlling long queues as citizens ended up disregarding social distancing.
Also at City Hall were employees from different companies, particularly PicknPay who were however turned away and informed that vaccination program was starting informal traders only.
According to the workers, the authorities told them that a program to visit their companies will be rolled out soon.
Furthermore, Bustop TV conducted interviews with vendors who applauded government for introducing the program.
“Siyabonga kakhulu kuHulumende ngohlelo lolu, thina abanye besingazi ukuthi bazasipha lathi ithuba elinje lokuthi sithole ivaccine leyi. (We thank government for this opportunity, we never knew that we will get this opportunity.”
Other vendors added, “Esikubonga kakhulu yikuthi sesize senelisa ukuhlaba lathi, kuqala laphana kungela maline labantu abanengi satshina lakho kodwa khathesi sibonile ukuthi uhlelo lolu solungahlupha ngokuya kwesikhathi njalo yikho size ngobunengi bethu kanje.(Thanks to governement because we have finally vaccinated and first we ignored this vaccine especially in the days when they were no qeues. When we had this opportunity we quickly came in numbers to get our jabs since we suspect that vaccinations might become scarce).”
Some citizens who are regarded as non informal traders also qeued for the Covid-19 vaccination jab.
In an interview, one Lungile Maphosa said, “We all want to get inoculated informal traders or not, we are all equally citizens and we are all vulnerable to this novel, so i want to get my jab.”
Moreover, Bustop observed that at Renkini the vaccine was not restricted for informal traders only instead anyone qeuing for the vaccine was inoculated.
The program is set to continue till 15 July before its rolled out to other areas.