By Robert Tapfumaeyi
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking an order stopping employers from forcing their unvaccinated employees from reporting for duty.
The application is also accusing government of ‘folding hands’ while employers are being forced to take Covid-19 vaccines arguing that the constitutional rights implicated are fundamental and the harm is irreparable.
Labour Minister, Attorney General of Zimbabwe, ZIMNAT Insurance Company, Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara), Telone, Windmill, SEEDCO Zimbabwe and Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences are cited as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Respondents Respectively.
In the court papers ZCTU is arguing that some employers, as a response to the 3rd wave of the covid-19 pandemic, are prohibiting their unvaccinated employees from reporting for work or from continuing with the performance of their obligations under their contracts of employment is unconstitutional.
“The aforesaid employers are taking the law into their own hands as there is no law providing for compulsory vaccination in respect of Covid-19,” reads the court papers.
“In the process, the aforesaid employers are infringing the fundamental rights of the affected employees protected by section 51, 52 ©, 65(1) and 65 (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. As evident from the conduct of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Respondents as examples, thousands of workers in Zimbabwe have been affected and thousands more likely to be affected if this court application is not heard and determined urgently,” the application reads.
“The 1st Respondent is folding hands without intervening as contemplated under section 17 of the labour act (chap28:01).”
The urgent application comes a week after the government also allowed churches to reopen and only fully vaccinated people were allowed to attend church services.”
The decision comes after government early this week announced that 1,9 million people have been vaccinated with the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine so far, against its 10 million people target.