Unemployed Youths Unmoved By Threats Of Sanctions On Unvaccinated People
22 August 2021
Some unemployed youths have said they are unmoved by threats of sanctions on unvaccinated people saying they have no access to formal spaces even before the imposition of sanctions.
In recent weeks, government officials and some companies have been threatening sanctions on the unvaccinated.
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In February, during the commissioning of the Gwayi-Shangani dam pipeline, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said no one will be forced to be vaccinated adding "but there will come a time, if you are not vaccinated you will not be able to get a job.” He added:
If you are not vaccinated you will not be able to board a Zupco bus. Eventually, you will have to decide for yourself.
In July, the government-sanctioned unvaccinated civil servants from work, denying them special COVID-19 allowances while denying them access to subsidised Zupco transport to state employees.
The government has been moving towards mandatory COVID-19 vaccination as panic sets in over soaring COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
However, unemployed 29-year-old Arthur Chimombe of Bulawayo is unmoved. Chimombe said:
In any case, the sanctions on the unvaccinated civil servants do not affect me. I am unemployed, and have not received any support from the government; financial or otherwise.
Chimombe says his decision to vaccinate or not is not going to be influenced by what seemingly looks like mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, but by his desire to save himself from infection.
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) health services director, Edwin Sibanda, says the council has no ready aggregated statistics on the number of youth, employed and unemployed who have been vaccinated.
Sibanda, however, indicated that "the uptake is not as good as we expected.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)has sued companies, including government parastatals, that ordered workers to take the Covid-19 vaccines – or risk losing their jobs.
More: The Citizen Bulletin