By Iommie Chiwalo
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s watchdog Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has written Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda on the rising work place policy that is making Covid-19 vaccine mandatory.
What has raised CDEDI’s eyebrows is the fact that government is silent on the matter despite its earlier stand that highlighted that the vaccine is not mandatory.
CDEDI has since given seven days to minister Chiponda to explain to Malawians the status in policy direction on Covid-19 testing and vaccination.
In a statement made available to this publication and signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI has described the current trend as a silent government policy of ‘NO VACCINE NO WORK POLICY’ in the country.
Namiwa says it is saddening to note that both the public and private institutions are currently outclassing each other, by imposing mandatory Covid-19 testing and vaccination.
He says this is contrary to what Hon. Minister of health told the nation, when announcing plans to roll out the vaccination campaign where she emphasised that the exercise was voluntary.
Namiwa observes that silence on these developments, is more disturbing 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 as usual, on its earlier position on voluntary testing and vaccination,” he says.
Adding that 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 quite on the same.
CDEDI says since President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera claims that is running a transparent and accountable government with the welfare of Malawians at heart, it was proper for ministry of health to come in the open.
“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,” he says.
However in a letter Namiwa has expressed gratitude on how the ministry previously handled the Covid-19 mitigation measures.
He acknowledges the highest level of dedication demonstrated by Minister Chiponda 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 finger tips,”
Unfortunately there is any response from Ministry of Health officials when we attempted to contact them on the matter.