By Griffiths Ncube
POLICE in Gutu, Masvingo Province, are investigating a case in which 250 blank Covid-19 vaccination cards vanished at a rural healthcare facility in Gutu.
ZRP national spokesperson Paul Nyathi said the incident took place at Cheshuro Rural Health Centre this Wednesday afternoon.
Investigations are in progress and no arrests have so far been made. Police appealed for information which could help arrest the suspects.
“The ZRP is investigating circumstances in which 250 Covid-19 vaccination cards went missing at Cheshuro Rural Health Centre on 25/08/12 at 1200 noon. Anyone with information to contact any nearest Police Station,” Nyathi said.
Eighteen cards also went missing from Hwange’s St Patrick’s Hospital yesterday. The 18 cards, serial numbers 00211779-96, were reportedly stolen from a batch that was given to the hospital under the government COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the development.
“I can confirm that some vaccination cards were stolen from St Patrick’s Hospital in Hwange and the matter is still under investigation,” Banda said.
“No arrests have been made yet and we are appealing to the public to assist with information that can lead to the arrest of the criminals and recovery of cards.”
He said Tatenda Maposa, a nurse, signed for the cards and left them on the table while she attended to other business with the door open and found the cards missing when she returned. She informed the hospital matron, one Ms S Ncube and a police report was made at ZRP Hwange.
This comes as Police this week arrested a Government nurse at Marondera General Hospital after he issued Covid-19 vaccination cards to unvaccinated people, for payment.
Kenneth Kuneka, aged 35, was also found in possession of various medical equipment and medicines at his place of residence.
Although vaccination is free of charge, there have been stampedes to get the vaccination cards as Government and private players continue restricting opportunities to the unvaccinated.
Government recently allowed churches to open but only to fully vaccinated congregants.
Restaurants have also been allowed to offer sit-in services for fully vaccinated clients. There are also several private, quasi-Government and public entities that have declared war on unvaccinated staff, barring them from coming to work and threatened disciplinary action or even dismissal in some cases.
Universities have also indicated that unvaccinated students and staff will not be allowed on premises.
Observers say all these developments, coupled with long queues at especially urban vaccination centres, had created room for corrupt healthcare officials to sell vaccination cards. □