Did Zimbabwe receive 1 000 or 10 000 Personal Protective Equipment suits from the Jack Ma Foundation?

Jack Ma

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.

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.

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.

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.”


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.

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