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No jab, no job takes effect

by Staff reporter
16 Sep 2021 at 05:55hrs | Views
AT least 10 percent of civil servants could be affected by the Government's decision to bar unvaccinated employees from reporting for work. Cabinet on Tuesday resolved that unvaccinated civil servants should not report for duty as Government has made the free vaccination accessible to all.

Public Service Commission (PSC) Permanent Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said 90 percent of Government employees have been vaccinated.

"We are checking ministry by ministry because it was a continuous exercise and we are getting a feedback that reflects statistics around 90 percent. Just keep in mind that in some cases it was a matter of people actually having certain underlying conditions and their doctors discouraging them from being vaccinated," said Ambassador Wutawunashe.

He said those that have not been vaccinated on medical grounds will be allowed to continue reporting for duty.

"Those who have been advised by doctors not to be vaccinated cannot be treated as people who have wilfully refused to be vaccinated. There will be rationality and the exceptions will be few. Most civil servants have been vaccinated because there were deliberate programmes on the part of Government ministries and departments to encourage their staff to be vaccinated," he said.

Ambassador Wutawunashe said the Cabinet decision was made to protect employees as it is worrying to lose staff to Covid-19. National statistics show that most citizens that are succumbing to Covid-19 related complications have not been vaccinated.

Ambassador Wutawunashe said civil servants are critical in implementing Government programmes and as such should lead from the front.

"Civil servants are the ones who provide services to the public and as such cannot be expected to put the people's lives at risk. They are the ones who are supposed to drive Government's Vision 2030. If civil servants are disabled from doing those things through Covid-19 then the national objectives and goals are subverted," he said.

Ambassador Wutawunashe said people need to be confident that the country is working to attain herd immunity in the shortest possible time and the civil servants should be at the forefront of this campaign. Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Dr Sifiso Ndlovu backed the Government's decision saying civil servants need to protect themselves and members of the public they serve.

"This protects unvaccinated employees so that they do not contract Covid-19 while at work. The decision is part of measures to curb the spread of the pandemic and as such is a progressive step in managing public health," said Dr Ndlovu.

He said civil servants interact with members of the public everyday and as such were at high risk of contracting the virus.

Dr Ndlovu urged civil servants to be vaccinated in order to protect themselves and the people they serve.

"Civil servants interact with the general public daily as they provide services hence the need for them to be vaccinated," he said.

Apex council secretary-general Mr David Dzatsunga said Government should have engaged the civil servants before taking the decision to bar them from reporting for duty.

"We agree that the Covid-19 pandemic is an issue and requires Government to take measures to contain its spread but we feel Government should have engaged workers before taking this drastic decision to bar the unvaccinated workers from reporting for duty. We believe there is scope to sit down and agree on how best we can make this work for everybody," Mr Dzatsunga.

He said probably some of the unvaccinated civil servants were facing challenges like the unavailability of the vaccines at some vaccination centres, not getting time off to queue to be vaccinated and other such challenges.-

Source - chronicle