Govt’s silence on ‘no vaccine, no work policy’ irks CDEDI

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has expressed concern over Government’s silence on the ‘no vaccine, no work’ policy which companies in Malawi have instituted.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa has made the remarks in a letter addressed to the newly appointed Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda.

Namiwa noted that public and private institutions are currently outclassing each other by imposing mandatory Covid-19 testing and vaccination, contrary to what the Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda told the nation, when announcing plans to roll out the vaccination campaign, that the exercise was voluntary.

He added that the World Health Organization (WHO’s) position is very clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is voluntary.

Namiwa described the government’s silence on the issue as disturbing. He then urged Nyirenda to come clear on the “no vaccine, no work policy” within 14 days.

“Since the private and public institutions started implementing their no vaccine no work policy,’ some people have lost jobs; while others have been forced to reveal their medical conditions to their employers in an attempt to be saved from the mandatory exercise; scores of others have lost business opportunities, thereby being deprived their right to economic activities.

“Most importantly, the majority have been forced to act contrary to their conscience, religion, belief and thought, in a quest to save the only source of survival for their families,” he said.

He went on to say that some citizens can choose life and go for the vaccine while others can also choose life by deciding not to get inoculated but government, however, has the final say on this matter.

“We at CDEDI, would like to believe that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is running a transparent and accountable government with the welfare of Malawians at heart, and in line with both the spirit and principle of Section 12 of the Republican Constitution.

“It is therefore, prudent and fair, that those in positions of authority, should be very open, clear and consistent on any policy changes, as long as it is done in good faith and in the best interest of the people of Malawi. That is the only sure way to earn and sustain the trust of the people,” he said.

In August, CDEDI wrote Minister of Health Chiponda and the Covid-19 Taskforce over the issue but the organization did not get a response.

Organisations which have instituted the policy include TNM and Malawi Electoral Commission