Beginning from Monday, Zimbabwe will bar all unvaccinated government workers from reporting to work as part of efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet on September 14 had ordered all government workers to get vaccinated, giving them up to a month to comply. According to the cabinet directive, anyone barred from work will not get paid.
“Please note that members who fail to produce the vaccination certificates shall not be allowed to report for duty, in an endeavor to implement (the) government’s thrust of minimizing the spread and effect of the novel COVID-19 pandemic,” a circular signed by health permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza said.
Chimedza added that those who will stay away from their duties due to non-compliance should be deemed absent from work, which will equally attract meaningful action against them. This implies that they won’t receive salaries, and potential disciplinary action will be carried out.
The total number of COVID -19 related deaths stands at 4 655 from 132,251 infections since March 2020.
Despite the fact that the country was one of the first on the continent to vaccinate against COVID-19, less than 2.5 million people out of its 15 million population have been fully vaccinated.
However, the vaccination process has slowed down in recent weeks as infections decline, with the government saying it has adequate doses in store.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the country’s main labor body, has gone to court to challenge the government’s compulsory vaccination drive, which some private businesses have also adopted across the country.