The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has alleged that there is “a silent government policy of ‘NO VACCINE NO WORK POLICY’ in the country”.
In a press release issued on Monday, August 30, 2021 and signed CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, the rights body says both public and private institutions are currently outclassing each other, by imposing mandatory Covid-19 testing and vaccination.
This, says the press release, is contrary the Minister of Heath Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda informed the nation, when announcing plans to roll out the vaccination campaign, that the exercise was voluntary.
“What is more disturbing is your silence on these developments, despite being reported in the media, and more so, being contrary to the Malawi government policy. It is against this background that CDEDI is challenging you to come out very clearly, on whether or not the Tonse Alliance government has changed tune on its earlier position on voluntary testing and vaccination,” reads the press release.
According to Namiwa, Malawians would like to know as to where these institutions are getting the mandate to impose the Covid-19 mandatory testing and vaccination from, and why the ministry has chosen to keep quiet on the same.
“CDEDI would like to believe that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is running a transparent and accountable government with the welfare of Malawians at heart. It is, therefore, prudent that your ministry 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.
“It is against this background that CDEDI is giving you seven (7) days to explain to Malawians the status in policy direction on Covid-19 testing and vaccination,” it reads.
On a positive note, the organization has acknowledged “the highest level of dedication that the minister has demonstrated by providing strategic leadership in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“One thing that quickly comes to mind are the daily updates and periodic media briefings. This is highly commendable, as citizens have access to reliable information, in near to real time, and right at their fingertips,” says Namiwa.