The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) says it is against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for civil servants, in particular, teachers.
PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou on Monday said that while their organisation encourages teachers to be inoculated, they are against compulsory vaccination. Said Zhou:
As much, as PTUZ, we encourage teachers to be vaccinated, we will oppose any attempt to make such vaccination mandatory to civil servants in general and teachers in particular.
This comes after the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, reportedly said COVID-19 vaccination must be mandatory for all civil servants.
Zhou asserted that the government must desist from adopting a commandist approach when dealing with professionals like teachers, nurses, doctors and the rest of civil servants.
He urged authorities to invest in other motivational methods than merely banking on the use of force which would seriously violate the rights of workers. Zhou said:
We will resist any attempt to favour teachers over COVID-19 vaccination, and not over the restoration of the purchasing power parity of their salaries.
Any preferential treatment must start with salaries and not COVID-19 vaccination. This is not to imply that vaccination is not important, but only to say the health and safety of teachers go beyond mere vaccination.
Zhou lamented the fact that teachers are paid far much less than army, police and CIO officers.
He said if the government was really concerned about the security and welfare of teachers, it should start by ensuring that their salaries are at par with those in the security services before attempting to force them to get the COVID-19 jab.