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Corruption fears as Zim, China issue contradicting numbers of donated COVID 19 kits

Jack Ma

Corruption fears as Zim, China issue contradicting numbers of donated COVID 19 kits. Confusion seems to be reigning supreme after Zimbabwe and China failed to agree on two distinct occasions on the number of coronavirus kits which were donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.

The confusion between the two countries has now been termed typogate, as each country has been blaming typing errors for the discrepancy between the figures. Surprisingly, however, despite correcting the typing errors, the figures are still not adding up.

Jack Ma Yun who is China’s second-richest man as well as the founder and chairman of Alibaba, donated a total of 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks, and 60,000 protective suits and face shields to every single African country.

Zimbabwe, like every other African country, was supposed to get 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields. On Tuesday the Ministry of Health and Child Care tweeted that it had received the consignment from Jack Ma and the Alibaba foundation saying,

Today we received a consignment from the Jack Ma & Alibaba Foundation to help strengthen & intensify surveillance, lab testing & case management of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe. The consignment included
– 20000 lab diagnostic test kids
– 100000 face masks
– 1000 protective suits

On the same day, the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun also tweeted,  Confirmed by @MOHCCZim, the donation includes 20, 000 test kits, 100, 000 face masks and 10, 000 protective wears and face shields.


However, eagle-eyed social media users quickly noticed that there was a huge discrepancy in the number of protective suits. The Ministry of Health and Child Care’s number of 1000, was a massive 9 000 short of the number claimed by both the Chinese Ambassador and Jack Ma.

Minister David Musabayana

Social media quickly went into overdrive with people accusing the government of misappropriating the other 9 000 protective suits for their own benefit. Some even appealed to the Chinese government to take action against this blatant corruption.

However, a few hours later, the Ministry of Health and Child Care changed the figure to 10 000 claiming that they had made a typing error when they made the initial tweet. Said the Ministry,

Please note there was a typo
There’s a total of 10 000 Protective suits NOT 1000.

Unsurprisingly, most social media users did not believe them. Instead, they accused the Ministry of Health and Child Care of conducting damage limitation and of doing a shoddy job in hiding its corrupt activities.

However, worse was to come. Perhaps in an effort to spare their comrades some embarrassment, the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe decided to change its figures so that they could tally with the ones initially claimed by the Ministry of Health and Child. The Chinese Ambassador even went as far as deleting his original tweet.

Unfortunately, the two countries seem not to have coordinated their plans on how to address the embarrassing discrepancy. The Chinese then claimed that there were in fact only 1000 protective suits and not the 10 000 they had initially claimed. However, this correction came after the Ministry of Health had already changed its figures from 1000 to 10 000.

The Chinese Embassy continued insisting that there were only 1000 protective suits despite the fact that the Ministry of Health was now confirming receiving 10, 000 protective suits.

The poorly coordinated way to address a discrepancy in figures only served to increase speculation that something untoward had happened to the donated equipment.

Both the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe are yet to release further statements to explain the discrepancy.

Source – iHarare

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