Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi has ordered civil servants to get vaccinated for COVID-19 to reduce the impact of the coronavirus or quit their jobs.
His remarks come when Zimbabwe which is grappling with a coronavirus resurgence has rolled out a massive vaccination programme in a bid to attain herd immunity.
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Ziymabi made the remarks during a Covid-19 assessment meeting with heads of various government departments in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province.. He said:
_When you get employed you cede some of the rights to say if you want to be employed here get vaccinated so the Public Service Commission has regulations which we must comply with if you are a civil servant. If you don’t want to comply with that you have a right to quit._
The directive was strongly opposed by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) which said Ziyambi’s remarks are unlawful, adding that refusing someone insurance cover on the basis that the person was not vaccinated is discrimination that is not supported by law.
ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said:
_It’s unlawful because there is no law that supports that discrimination for someone to discriminate an employee that has not been vaccinated … There is no scientific support that someone who has been vaccinated will not be infected._
While vaccination is said to be voluntary in Zimbabwe, like the Vatican Pope, government officials have been threatening sanctions against those who are not willing to get the vaccine.
President Emmerson said those who are not vaccinated risk losing out on public goods and services and opportunities.
At a graduation ceremony (pass out) of over 3000 prison officers in Bulawayo last month, the president said no one “will escape being vaccinated” prompting some to say the government was indirectly commanding people to be vaccinated.
President Mnangagwa warned that those who don’t get vaccinated will not get jobs in Zimbabwe.
Experts, however, believe force-marching the citizenry will trigger resistance adding that the government should conduct awareness campaigns instead.