Human rights body, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has challenged the Malawi government to announce its positon on the ‘NO VACCINE NO WORK POLICY’, which some public and private institutions are said to be silently implementing.
In a letter addressed to government’s legal adviser, the Attorney General, CDEDI observes that many people have lost jobs while others have been forced to reveal their medical conditions to their employers in frantic attempts to save their jobs.
“Scores of others have lost business opportunities, thereby being deprived their right to economic activities; and 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,” says a letter signed by CDEDI’s Executive director, Sylvester Namiwa.
Namiwa says CDEDI finds government’s silence on the issue disturbing when the Minister of Health Hon. Khumbizie Kandodo-Chiponda earlier during the Covid-19 testing and vaccination rollout campaign reiterated the World Health Organization (WHO’s) position that the exercise was voluntary.
“The health minister’s silence on the matter, is enough revelation that government has silently given the node for Covid-19 mandatory testing and vaccination,” states Namiwa requesting government to be “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”.
Namiwa opines that people should be left free to make a choice of whether to be vaccinated or not. “Some citizens can choose life and go for the vaccine while others can also choose life by deciding not to get inoculated”.
The vaccination coverage rates in Malawi, like most African countries, is very far from reaching herd immunity as only 929,000 people of the country’s population of 19 million receiving the dose despite acquiring tons of doses.