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Zimbabwe’s government tells civil servants: No vaccine, no pay

The head of Zimbabwe's civil servants wrote to them on Thursday to say that if they are not vaccinated against Covid-19 they will not be allowed to work and they will not be paid.

Harare, 16 September 2021 (dpa/MIA) — The head of Zimbabwe’s civil servants wrote to them on Thursday to say that if they are not vaccinated against Covid-19 they will not be allowed to work and they will not be paid.

Zimbabwe’s Public Service Commission head Jonathan Wutawunashe confirmed to dpa via telephone that a letter dated Sept. 15, which told all the estimated 300,000 civil servants to get vaccinated or lose payment, was genuine.

“In line with the Cabinet decision, all civil servants will be vaccinated without delay and unvaccinated members shall not be allowed to report for duty and will not be deemed to be working,” Wutawunashe’s letter reads.

“All heads of ministries are, therefore, urged to make arrangements for all civil servants under their jurisdiction to be vaccinated, and to explain to any who elect no to be vaccinated that they will not be deemed to be working.”

Various workers’ unions have since vowed to go to court, describing Wutawunashe’s directive as “draconian” and “discriminating.”

“While we continue to urge our members and all citizens to get vaccinated, we are definitely going to take the government to court on the issue of mandatory vaccine.

“Workers or citizens should not be discriminated [against] on the basis of their beliefs and values.

“The government should do more on information dissemination on the importance of getting vaccinated than the command vaccination program,” said Robson Chere, the head of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union.

Official information says so far 1,963,058 people have been fully vaccinated in Zimbabwe, a country of some 14.6 million, since the program started in February.

Zimbabwe has 127,083 confirmed coronavirus cases and has recorded 4,551 deaths from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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