ZIMBABWE’S civil servants who are yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccination have been told to either get the jab or resign from the public service.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told a gathering in Chinhoyi that when one joins the civil service, they lose some of their rights to the employer, who in this case is the Public Service Commission.
About 20 percent of the Government’s workers have yet to get vaccinated despite civil servants having been given top priority, Government revealed last week. These, Ziyambi said, should resign from the Public Service Commission because Government’s policy was that all its workers have to be vaccinated.
“The Public Service Commission has regulations to say in this case if you’re one of their workers you have to get vaccinated. When you join public service you cede some of your rights to the employer who in this case is the Public Service Commission.Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi
“If you don’t want to comply with Public Service Commission regulations then you have the right to quit and resign,” Ziyambi told stunned delegates and heads of government departments at a Covid-19 update meeting in Chinhoyi.
The utterances caused an uproar, with Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa insisting workers had a right to choose not to get vaccinated. Mutasa also said there was no scientific evidence to support that getting vaccinated reduced the chances of Covid-19 infection.
At the same meeting, independent legislator for Norton, Temba Mliswa, asked Ziyambi why Zanu-PF was continuing with holding public gatherings yet all other political and non-political gatherings were prohibited under the lockdown restrictions.
Ziyambi said no members of Zanu-PF or any party were allowed to hold public gatherings. He said the Public Health Act was clear that no gatherings were permitted and Zanu-PF members were equally under prohibition of the same law as everybodyelse.
However, opposition MDC Alliance trashed Ziyambi’s utterances saying Ziyambi was preaching what he and his party do not practise at all. Clifford Hlatshwayo, the party’s deputy spokesperson, said Ziyambi was lying through his teeth as his Zanu-PF party was taking advantage of the lockdown to hold political gatherings while other parties had their wings clipped.
Hlatshwayo warned Ziyambi that Covid-19 knew no colour, tribe or political affiliation and Zanu-PF must be aware that it could be unwittingly spreading the virus.
According to the latest update by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe recorded 1002 new Covid-19 cases and 18 deaths in the last 24 hours. Half of these deaths were in Mashonaland West province which has been a hotspot for several weeks now. The province also contributed 287 of the 1002 new cases.
“As at 03 July 2021, Zimbabwe had 53 665 confirmed cases, including 39 792 recoveries and 1 859 deaths. To date, a total of 791 901 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19,” the Ministry said in its official announcement.
In terms of vaccination, over 791 000 have received their first dose of the vaccinces while over 567 000 have receive both jabs. Zimbabwe is currently in the first of two weeks provisional tight lockdown as the third wave cases continue spreading. □