Verdict: Zimbabwe received 1 000 PPE suits.
Background: The misinformation an communication error originated after the Chinese Ambassador (@China_Amb_Zim) tweeted that Zimbabwe had received the consignment from Jack Ma Foundation, which included 10 000 PPE suits while the Ministry of Health and Child Care said it had received 1000 PPEs.
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
— Ministry of HealthZW (@MoHCCZim) March 24, 2020
The difference in figures caused a section of Zimbabweans to accuse the government of stealing the other remainder of the protective suits. Their accusations were also stocked by the ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting and its permanent secretary Nick Mangwana who in their twitter accounts said the number of PPEs received was 1 000.
#COVID19Zim Cabinet noted with deep sorrow, the passing on of Zororo Makamba yesterday. Meanwhile, a consignment of goods from the Alibaba Foundation arrives in the country today. It includes 20 000 test kits, 100 000 medical face masks & 1000 protective suits and shields pic.twitter.com/MbpSny8cCF
— Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting (@InfoMinZW) March 24, 2020
“The first 100 test kits are expected tomorrow while the rest of the consignment which includes 20 000 test kits, 100 000 masks and 1 000 medical-use protective suits and face shields will be delivered by Ethiopian Airlines, as per agreement with Jack Ma”https://t.co/OpY2JXDDvK
— Nick Mangwana (@nickmangwana) March 24, 2020
When online users observed that the Chinese ambassador had said 10 000 PPEs, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, moved to say the 1 000 figure was a typo.
Please note there was a typo
There’s a total of 10 000 Protective suits NOT 1000. https://t.co/tpaJjKSNVA
— Ministry of HealthZW (@MoHCCZim) March 25, 2020
But questions were raised as to why the information ministry and Mangwana would make the same typo of recording the 1 000 figure and not 10 000 PPEs.
The Chinese Embassy later tweeted a correction and said the number of protective suits and face shields from Jack Ma to Zimbabwe is 1 000, not 10 000. Other donated goods included 20 000 test kits and 100 000 masks.
“Sorry for mistake as we race against the clock to help Zimbabwe. More Chinese help on the way.”
Correction: number of protective suits and face shields from Jack Ma to Zim is 1000, not 10,000. 20,000 test kits & 100,000 masks correct.
Sorry for mistake as we race against the clock to help Zim. More Chinese help on the way.
— Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe (@ChineseZimbabwe) March 25, 2020
On March 11, 2020 the Jack Ma Foundation said to combat the potential surging demand for medical supplies and equipment in Africa, in conjunction with the Alibaba Foundation, it was donating to each one of the 54 African countries, 20 000 testing kits, 100 000 masks and 1 000 medical use protective suits and face shields to be one step ahead of the coronavirus.
The consignment was delivered to Addis Ababa, where Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, had agreed to take the lead in managing the logistics and distribution of these supplies to other African countries.