Fact Check - Did Malawi Government Order Vaccines and Had a Huge Stone Delivered Instead?
By Nyakerario Omari
A tweet shared together with this video claims that the Malawian government had ordered vaccines from Zimbabwe and they had a big rock delivered instead.
This video (see below), dated April 11, 2021, shows an intermodal container with a huge rock in it and an inspection of the rock being done.
Malawi recently received 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine shipped via the COVAX facility, a partnership between CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), Gavi, UNICEF and the WHO. These doses arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi from the Serum Institute in Mumbai, India, on the evening of March 5, 2021.
The Malawian government identified priority groups to be inoculated first. However, after receiving an additional 50,000 doses from India and 102,000 from the African Union, it expanded the eligibility of vaccination to all Malawians aged 18 years and older.
In a statement by the spokesperson of Malawi’s health ministry, 40,000 of the vaccines from the African Union were bound to expire by 9th March 2021. Following this projection, Malawi announced that it would destroy over 16,000 doses of these vaccines as they had expired.
We ran a reverse image search with the keyframes retrieved from this video. A result came up from this tweet with the same video uploaded on March 26, 2021. It claims that the Malawian minister of mines was inspecting containers of what Chinese investors claims were samples of precious minerals being exported for analysis.
A second reverse image search done with a separate keyframe from this same video shows an article published by a Malawian publication, Malawi24. This publication identifies the Malawian Minister for Mining in the company of other individuals inspecting the same rock. The rock is said to be containing Quartz and was being transported to China to be tested.
From a third reverse image search, The Times Group states that the rock weighed 25 tonnes and was being sold at K2 million by officials in the Ministry of Mining.
In a statement, Rashid Gaffar, the Minister for Mining, said, “I have stopped the selling of the rock because I would like to investigate its true value. I heard about the selling of the rock through a memo which was written to me, informing me about the development.” He suspects that the rock has a value of over K170 million. However, he maintains that he will go ahead with selling the rock after evaluation of its value by experts.
Claims that the Malawi government received a huge rock instead of vaccines from Zimbabwe are FALSE.
This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code For Africa with support from Deutsche Akademie.