Chiwenga toughens jab ‘coup’ measures, issues month’s ultimatum

Zimstar News

Government has given civil servants up to 15 October this year to take the mandatory two Covid-19 doses or lose their wages and also face other sanctions that include disciplinary action.

This is according to Statutory Instrument 234/2021 issued Friday by Vice President and substantive health minister Constantino Chiwenga using his powers under public health laws to combat Covid-19 infections.

Read the SI in part, “Every member of the Public Service shall be fully vaccinated and any member not so vaccinated shall be barred from the workplace after 15 October, 2021, and not be paid while he or she is so barred; (any member) who refuses to be fully vaccinated shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings on the basis that he or she failed to obey a lawful instruction.”

The ultimatum follows a cabinet order Tuesday for all civil servants to queue up for their doses or face a ban from their workplaces.

Forced vaccination has been condemned by trade unions which insist this was in violation of workers’ rights to choose to be inoculated or not.

Congregations are among the different sectors in the country that have found members marshalled to vaccination centres by dint of government’s military style management of its mass inoculation drive.

The adoption of tough measures comes after a lot of citizens have seemingly been reluctant to take up the life-saving jab owing to different reasons, some involving unproven conspiracy theories around the dose.

Government is keen on the country notching up a 10 million vaccination herd immunity threshold by end of the year.

The target has been set as a condition for the country to fully open the economy following a tiring lockdown period that has seen sporadic business closures for nearly two years.

On Thursday, Zimbabwe surpassed a milestone two million people who have been fully vaccinated with Harare and Manicaland leading the pack.