Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has no room for relaxation at his new job as Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has given him 14 days to declare the government’s position on mandatory Covid-19 vaccination.
CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa contends that the legal advice on the silently introduced and implemented ‘NO VACCINE, NO WORK POLICY’ of containing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic runs counter to the ‘voluntary vaccination’, which the Minister of Health and Population, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, has been preaching all along.
Namiwa has since penned Nyirenda, demanding that he should make clear the government’s position on the matter.
“You are coming into this high office at a time when debate is raging on what could best be described as a silent government policy of ‘NO VACCINE NO WORK POLICY’ in the country. Both the public and private institutions are currently outclassing each other, by imposing mandatory Covid-19 testing and vaccination, contrary to what the Minister of Health Hon. Khumbizie Kandodo-Chiponda told the nation, when announcing plans to roll out the vaccination campaign, that the exercise was voluntary. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO’s) position is very clear; that the Covid-19 vaccine is voluntary,” reads the letter, which is dated 9 September 2021.
Namiwa claims that since private and public institutions started implementing the ‘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.
He adds that scores of others have lost business opportunities thereby depriving them of 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. What is particularly more disturbing is the silence on the part of the Malawi Government, despite CDEDI formally writing the minister responsible, with a copy to the Covid-19 Taskforce,” says Namiwa in the letter.
“You may agree with us that some citizens can choose life and go for the vaccine, while others can also choose life by deciding not to get inoculated. Government, however, has the final say on this matter! It is against this background, therefore, that CDEDI is again challenging the government, through your office sir, to come out very clearly, on whether or not the Tonse Alliance administration has changed on its earlier position on the Covid-19 voluntary testing and vaccination. Nonetheless, the health minister’s silence on the matter is enough revelation that the government has silently given the nod for Covid-19 mandatory testing and vaccination.”
Namiwa says CDEDI believes 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.
He says 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. Having reached this far, CDEDI is, therefore, giving you, sir, fourteen (14) days to act on the concern raised in this letter, which is a true reflection of the situation on the ground,” thus Namiwa ends his epistle to the AG.
Nyasa Times could not immediately reach AG Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda for his comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :