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Unvaccinated soldiers blocked from entering military barracks

THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has barred all its unvaccinated soldiers and visitors from entering military barracks.

The government recently started Covid-19 vaccination in all army, prison, and police camps while other private companies also procured vaccines for their members of staff.

Online newspaper reports that soldiers on Thursday were turned away from their workstations on account of having not been vaccinated.

“Today (Thursday), I was off duty and went to work hoping to see a workmate but I was denied entry at the main gate because I am not vaccinated. I was surprised because the issue was never communicated to anybody through a formal circular as it is usual the case on such issues. Now that vaccination is now compulsory, I am forced to get vaccinated,” a soldier based at Llewellin Barracks in Bulawayo told the publication.

Another soldier said he was also denied at the same institution.

“When the vaccination programme started I was on leave. I reported for work I was told to vaccinate or go back home. I do not know why they are forcing us to vaccinate against our will,” said the soldier who also spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation.

It was not immediately clear what would happen to army officers who insist on not getting vaccinated. Several organizations have warned that employees who insist on resisting vaccinated would eventually be fired to protect the rest of the workers.

Several government departments and private organizations and quasi-government are now forcing their workers to vaccinate against the pandemic.

Some of the parastatals who have forced their workers to vaccinate include the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and TelOne.

Efforts to get comments from ZNA spokesperson Alphios Makotore were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered. □

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