THE Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has given all its workers until end of this month to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or risk being fired.
The quasi-governmental agency, which has several depots in Covid-19 hotspots, issued the ultimatum Thursday after 150 workers from its depots across the country tested positive of the deadly respiratory ailment.
GMB chief executive officer, Rockie Mutenha, in a circular exclusively leaked to NewZimbabwe.com, wrote: “All GMB employees must be vaccinated in order to protect the public that we serve. All GMB employees must be vaccinated by 31 July 2021.
“Those not vaccinated by that date should stop coming to work from 1 August 2021 as they will remain a threat to other employees and other stakeholders that visit GMB depots,” the circular reads.
Mutenha urged all unvaccinated staff members to visit their nearest health centres and get the jab.
“Records on file show that as of yesterday (14 July) 150 employees tested positive to Covid across depots around Zimbabwe. At one stage GMB was forced to close operations at one of its depots because of a high number of positive cases.
“These are the known cases and we cannot rule out the cases could be more. The Covid-19 pandemic is now a serious threat to our employees, families and the nation as a whole,” Mutenha wrote.
The grain collection agency, which has a staff complement of 3 569 including contractors, had by the time of publishing 1 289 vaccinated employees, while the remaining 2 280 had not yet been inoculated.
Mutenha further warned of the ‘catastrophic’ risk the unvaccinated workers’ population posed to society.
“Most GMB depots are in hotspot areas which is catastrophic as the unvaccinated 2 280 employees are coming to work every day and mixing with other employees and farmers thus potentially endangering their lives and the lives of other people,” he wrote.
GMB depots in Covid-19 hotspot areas include Magunje, Karoi, Chinhoyi, Lion’s Den, Chegutu, and Kwekwe, among others.
Workers at GMB are categorised as essential services providers.