Mon | Oct 25, 2021

Gov’t workers ordered to get COVID vaccinations

Published:Friday | September 17, 2021 | 12:09 AM
People wait at a bus station in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Sept, 16, 2021. Zimbabwe has told all government employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or they will not be allowed to come to work.
People wait at a bus station in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Sept, 16, 2021. Zimbabwe has told all government employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or they will not be allowed to come to work.

HARARE (AP):

Zimbabwe’s government has ordered all its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or they won’t be allowed to come to work.

The Public Service Commission, which is in charge of employment conditions for government workers, issued an internal notice Wednesday ordering employees to get vaccinated.

“All civil servants should be vaccinated without delay, and unvaccinated members shall not be allowed to report for duty,” said the notice, which has been seen by The Associated Press. The commission “urged” heads of government departments to make arrangements for their employees to be vaccinated “and to explain to any who elect not to be vaccinated that they will not be deemed to be working”.

It wasn’t made clear what would happen to employees who refused to be vaccinated, although state-owned newspaper, The Herald, reported that the government would adopt a policy where unvaccinated workers wouldn’t be paid.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the mandatory vaccination programme for government workers earlier this week. She didn’t give any time frame for workers to receive vaccinations, and also didn’t clarify what the repercussions would be for any who refused.

The government is Zimbabwe’s biggest employer and has about 500,000 workers.

Zimbabwe is one of the leading countries in Africa in terms of vaccinations, with more than 12 per cent of the country’s 15 million people fully vaccinated. That compares to just 3.6 per cent of people across Africa who have been fully vaccinated, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zimbabwe has received more than 11 million doses, mainly Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.