Teachers union condemns mandatory vaccination

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has condemned the government for ‘forcing’ teachers to get vaccinated against Covid-19. 

This is in response to a directive by Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga contained in Statutory Instrument (SI)234 of 2021 that all civil servants should be vaccinated by October 15, 2021, or they risk losing their jobs. 

According to the SI government employees who will fail to comply would be barred from their workspace and will lose income.

In a statement, Wednesday, the teacher’s union said mandatory vaccination violates employee’s freedom of choice and right to dignity.

“ARTUZ noted with disgust the promulgation of  SI 234 of 2021, which seeks to coerce civil servants to get vaccinated or lose their jobs. The Union has been on the forefront encouraging teachers to get vaccinated as a way of containing the deadly COVID19 pandemic,” read the statement. 

“The Union is completely against mandatory vaccination. Mandatory vaccination violates employee’s freedom of choice and right to dignity. The policy further disregards the existence of underlying medical conditions which bar some employees from being vaccinated.”

ARTUZ stated that it has since launched he ‘Voluntary Vaccination Campaign” which seeks to achieve specific objectives.

“The campaign seeks to raise awareness on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID19 vaccines and encourage more people to voluntarily get vaccinated. It also seeks to pile pressure on the government to reverse the untenable mandatory vaccination policy,” the statement read. 

“ARTUZ has since engaged lawyers who are seized with filing a court application to try and block mandatory vaccination. The Union is also organizing a Voluntary Vaccination March scheduled for the 8th of October 2021 ahead of the 15th October deadline set by government for mandatory vaccination.”

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