Saturday, 12 February 2022


THE Public Service Commission (PSC) has announced that all civil servants can now fully return to work in the wake of reduced Covid-19 infections and deaths, but warned that those not vaccinated for non-medical reasons will not be allowed back at work, will face disciplinary action and will not be paid.

Indications over the past weeks have shown that Zimbabwe has made inroads in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as indicated by the slump in new cases and deaths. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has at various times instituted measures to decongest offices in the civil service in a bid to contain the spread of the contagious virus.

In July last year, the PSC ordered ministries to have just 10 percent of staff physically present on duty at a given moment with the rest working from home. This came as the country was battling another surge of Covid-19 cases.

Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga on 28 January announced a relaxation of measures that had been put in place to curb the fourth wave of the pandemic. Dr Chiwenga announced that the business community was now expected to go back to working from their offices while continuing to observe Covid-19 prevention measures, while the curfew was extended from midnight to 05.30am.

In a circular directed to Government ministries, Auditor-General Ms Mildred Chiri and Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Martin Rushwaya dated 9 February, PSC Secretary, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe, said normal business would be resuming in Government offices.

“In view of the announcement by (then) Acting President Hon. General (Rtd) Dr C.G.D.N. Chiwenga on 28 January 2022 regarding measures for Covid-19 containment in the country, Heads of Ministries are directed to adhere to the under listed measures with immediate effect: All vaccinated members to return to work with immediate effect. Face to face interviews now permitted in strict adherence to Covid-19 health measures. Office hours shall remain unchanged,” the circular read.

New infections and deaths have been on the wane in recent weeks, with the country recording no deaths last Wednesday despite 140 new cases. Only one death was registered on Friday, with the country recording 174 new cases. As of Friday, Zimbabwe had recorded 231 214 cases and 5 374 deaths.

Amb Wutawunashe added that workers that have not been vaccinated will not be granted access to their work stations and they would also not be paid during the time they spend barred from Government offices.

“In line with Section 3(a)i) and (i) of Statutory Instrument 234 of 2021, members not vaccinated should be barred from the workplace and shall not be paid whilst they are barred. Any member that is not fully vaccinated without a reasonable excuse shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

Members with medical conditions that require exemption from vaccination should provide a medical certificate from a medical practitioner who certifies that the member’s condition can be worsened by the vaccine,” he said.

Despite the return of all workers, Dr Wutawunashe said the standard Covid-19 containment practices still needed to be adhered to.

“All other health protocols such as wearing of face masks, social distancing and sanitisation should be adhered to. The PSC will continue to communicate any reviews as the situation is managed.

All ministries are urged to co-operate as we remain alert in combating this pandemic, which we will certainly overcome through adherence to conduct and protocols prescribed by Zimbabwe health authorities, as guided by the World Health Organisation.” Sunday Mail


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