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Business in over M25 million pledge for Covid-19


Ntsoaki Motaung

Different companies in Lesotho have come together to support the government in the procurement of the Covid-19 Vaccines for Basotho through an initiative called Sesiu Sa Letšoele Le Beta Poho.

This was said by the initiative’s Chairman Sam Matekane, who indicated that the war against the global pandemic is not something that can be entrusted only to the government but that everyone has a responsibility to ensure that everyone saved from the pandemic.

“Since our launch we are pleased to confirm as of today 11 companies; Alliance Insurance, Standard Lesotho Bank, Lets’eng Diamonds, LNIG, Ned bank, Nthane Brothers Holdings, LSP Construction, Pick N Pay Lesotho, Thaba Bosiu Risk Solutions, Econet Lesotho, and Specialized Insurance Company have pledged a total of M25, 551,000 towards procurement and distribution of vaccines for all Basotho,” he said.

Matekane indicated that the board of trustees to the fund are drawing close to the first order of 100,000 doses to be completed by the end of next week.

“Our choice of vaccine is dependent on efficacy data, number of doses and global supplies. As it stands the global political climate in the US, UK AND EU have led to a restriction in global access. We are as such, expected to receive our initial order of vaccines 60 days after a purchase order has been completed. We therefore plan to receive our first batch by the end of May 2021, with subsequently receiving 100,000 doses every month until the end of the year,” he said.

The Chairman stated that, participation to pledge to the fund is open to every Mosotho who wishes to get vaccinated or who wish to pledge towards vaccinating the public at large. Every cent counts and as the fund we take any amount of donations towards buying covid-19 vaccines” he said.

According to Matekane, Sesiu Sa Letšoele Le Beta Poho is the unified private sector non-profit organization that is mandated to augment and expedite the government of Lesotho’s covid-19 vaccine response plan.

Matekane indicated that, the fund was much interested in procuring Johnson and Johnson but due to the complications in the meantime the only vaccine that they have progress on in terms of placing the purchase order in two weeks is Sputnik V vaccine from Russia.

“The vaccine costs $17.5 per dose and as of today for 100,000 doses the cost is about M26, 250,000 but the real cost will be confirmed on the day of paying according to currency exchange for that day. The overall costs of the vaccine have to include plane costs from Russia to Lesotho and the rollout of vaccine to the rest of the country and that also will be the responsibility of the fund working hand-in-hand with the government through the Ministry of Health,” he said. The Trustee Member Phafane Nkotsi also stressed that the fund works collaboratively with government. “It is our hope that in the meantime when the order has been placed and waiting for the arrival of the vaccine we will be dealing with the issue of how the vaccine will be distributed in the country. In an event where the government fails the fund will incur the costs. Because it is also our mandate to acquire and rollout to a point of care where people will be vaccinated,” he said.

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