The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has sued a number of companies that ordered workers to take the Covid-19 vaccines – or risk losing their jobs.
In an urgent High Court filing on Friday, the ZCTU said the actions by companies such as Zimnat Insurance, the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA), TelOne, Windmill Limited, Seed Co Zimbabwe and the Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences violated workers’ constitutional rights.
Public service minister Paul Mavhima and Attorney-General Prince Machaya are also joined in the court action. The ZCTU argues in the court application:
There is no law in Zimbabwe making vaccination compulsory. Each person, having fully considered the implications and effects of vaccination, is expected to make a personal decision on whether or not to get vaccinated and where a person decides to get vaccinated, he or she is expected to make a decision relating to the timing of the vaccination…
In the process, the aforesaid employers are infringing the fundamental rights of the affected employees protected by section 51, 52 (c), 65 (1) and 65 (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Thousands of workers in Zimbabwe have been affected and thousands are more likely to be affected if this court application is not heard urgently.
The ZCTU said minister Mavhima, through its lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku, was not taking appropriate action to protect the workers as section 17 of the Labour Act (chap 28:01) requires.”
Many companies have been ordering their workers to be vaccinated or lose their jobs while some learning institutions including the University of Zimbabwe are also reportedly threatening to block unvaccinated learners from entering their premises.
Vaccination remains voluntary but members of the public feel the conditions set by many service providers are an indirect way of making vaccination compulsory.