President Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday hinted that individuals who are refusing to take the coronavirus vaccine won’t get jobs and essential services.
He made the remarks while addressing hundreds of Zanu PF supporters who gathered the commissioning of the Epping Forest Water Supply Augmentation Project for Bulawayo and the ground-breaking ceremony of the Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline project in Nyamandlovu, Umguza District, Matabeleland North.
President Mnangagwa’s remarks are a clear departure from the government’s policy that vaccination is voluntary as there is a possibility that citizens won’t get jobs if they refuse to take the vaccine.
While speaking in Shona, the president reiterated that vaccination was voluntary but added those who refused to take the vaccine won’t get jobs. He said:
You are not forced to be vaccinated but time shall come when those who are not vaccinated won’t get jobs and won’t be able to board ZUPCO buses. So, decide what you do.
I-vaccine leyi irayithi, inhle liyithathe (this vaccine is safe, please take it up). The vice president of the party and the country had the first jab, he is still here.
My cabinet and myself in two weeks will be next when the next batch comes, I will be vaccinated. Wena ungubani (who are you not to get vaccinated)?
The president spoke after his deputy Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga who is also the minister of Health and Child Care volunteered to be the first person to be vaccinated with the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine.
Zimbabwe would be following in the footsteps of the Vatican City which earlier told employees that they may risk losing their jobs if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccination without legitimate health reasons.
President Mnangagwa earlier said the country can only return to normality after the majority of the population would have been vaccinated to ensure herd immunity.