MHRC cautions Govt over ‘mandatory’ Covid-19 vaccination

State-funded human rights watchdog, the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), has cautioned the government against implementing a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination without a legal and policy framework guiding its implementation.

Recently, there has been a public outcry that some privately-owned companies and government departments, ministries and agencies (MDAs) are forcing their employees to go for vaccination or stop reporting for duties.

AG Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda asked to provide concrete guidance on “No vaccination, No work” policy

But MHRC, in a statement issued on Tuesday, stressed that that Covid-19 vaccination remains voluntary and that employers who are demanding proof of vaccination from their workers are violating the law.

The Commission has advised the government to stick to World Health Organisation’s regulations, which stipulate that Covid-19 vaccine is not mandatory.

MHRC further states that any government decision to adopt mandatory Covid-19 vaccination or stick to voluntary Covid-19 vaccination should be guided by law.

Last week, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) executive director Sylvester Namiwa wrote Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda to declare the government’s position on mandatory Covid-19 vaccination.

Namiwa contended 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.

Nyirenda confirmed receipt of the letter, but refused to give his opinion on the matter.

The AG said he would only comment after consulting other stakeholders in the government system.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says only 470,000 Malawians have been fully vaccinated, so far.

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Pete Samu
Pete Samu
2 years ago

Kodi mwana akamakana mankhwala kapena kupita kusukulu, mumati ndi ufulu wake? Most villages are not knowledgeable and behave like children in terms of thinking capacity. So we need to guide by using relevant force.

Unlike the two examples above, the unvaccinated are a danger to society more especially the elderly.

If civilised countries like RSA and use are using subtle force, why not us. We should stop the freedom nonsense here. Africa cannot develop with such freedoms.

2 years ago

Malawi is doing so badly in Africa on COVID 19 vaccination. Till today not even half a million people vaccinated. Shame, dissolve the Presidential Taskforce – They are doing nothing.

Jean Claude Rennier
Jean Claude Rennier
2 years ago

I think that protection of the population of the country (and thus the economy), should take priority over human rights in this matter, especially when we are talking about the workforce – the backbone of the economy. The Covid-19 virus has mutated to now a highly infections strain ie. the Delta variant, which is able to cause breakthrough infections, ie. infecting even people who have taken both shots of the vaccine. The virus continues to mutate into new strains. Un-vaccinated people will cause so many infections and deaths in others that they come into contact with. Given that our country… Read more »

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