Zimbabwe asks state employees to take a jab or quit

The government in Zimbabwe is asking its employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or resign. It says the move is aimed at reducing the risk of spreading the virus. The southern African country has already made the vaccine mandatory for trading in markets, working out at gyms, frequenting restaurants and sitting university exams. Some private employers have followed suit.

In an interview with a local radio, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi says that employees who think they have a right to choose whether or not they can be vaccinated have it all wrong. Zimbabwe counts around 300,000 civil servants including some 100,000 teachers. The government earlier on introduced a new regulation for churches and restaurants to only allow people with a vaccination card inside their premises. The aim is to tackle vaccine hesitancy within the population. The southern African country has been able to fully vaccinate 1.7 million people. No country in Africa has introduced legislation to make a Covid vaccine mandatory to the population. Just over 2.7 million of Zimbabwe’s 15 million inhabitants have so far received a first vaccine dose. The country has recorded more than 125,600 infections and 4,490 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. It has so far relied on jabs produced in China, India and Russia, but recently approved the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.