Says selection of Dada’s residence cannot pass the test of equity and fair play
MPHO MATSHEDISO, lawrence seretse
Use of the sumptuous residence of business mogul Satar Dada as an exclusive vaccination centre for VIPs is an indication of how corruption runs through the veins of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), the Secretary General of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Moeti Mohwasa, has said.
“The place does not appear on the list of (official) vaccination sites,” Mohwasa said in an interview with The Botswana Gazette. “We are sure others could have availed their places if they had been made aware of such a possibility. Vaccination is not allowed at private facilities but is allowed at a private home?”
“It might have been good but this cannot pass the test of what reflects equity and fairness in the distribution and delivery of a crucial service in our lives. What then follows is a question of whether those who got vaccinated at the site did not jump the queue. This is not surprising, coming out of the BDP government which has a bad reputation when it comes to prudent use and allocation of state resources.”
But the UDC publicist was hedging regarding the fact that members of the opposition coalition also went to Dada’s house for their jabs. “I cannot comment until I have heard from them,” he said.
Twenty health workers were deployed to Dada’s residence at the upmarket neighbourhood of Extension 11 in Gaborone over the Easter weekend while certain public health facilities where vaccination was taking place reportedly experienced shortage of personnel.
This prompted the MP for Selibe-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, to question criteria used to decide on the residence of Dada, who has been the Treasurer of the BDP for decades, as a vaccination site. “How did the Ministry of Health identify this individual out of many Batswana with houses? If a private facility is used for COVID-19 vaccine rollout, it should be a known private hospital or clinic identified in a transparent manner,” Keorapetse said in an interview, adding that there is much secrecy and no accountability under the State of Emergency (SOE).
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Sefhare-Ramokgonami, Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who confirmed to have gotten the jab at Dada residence has noted that although he had registered online to get the vaccine, it was not a requirement. “I suspect they got the list of people to be vaccinated from the Clerk but the target was 55 years and above. Judges and other VIPs may have been there before us,” he concluded.
According to a public relations officer at the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW), Christopher Nyanga, anyone wishing to help with vaccination sites is welcome. A press release from MoH this week said vaccination is targeted at areas which have been hard hit by COVID-19. Ngamiland, Greater Gaborone and Greater Francistown are listed among such places.