Namibia: Mandatory Vaccination Unconstitutional - Churches

(File photo).

The Alliance of Christian Churches in Namibia (ACCN) says none of the Covid-19 vaccines are fully effective, and no company should force their employees to get vaccinated.

This was announced by pastor Dolly Nengushe at a press conference at Gospel Outreach Ministries in Windhoek on Friday.

She said the media has recently been reporting on companies enforcing vaccination.

Nengushe said this is alarming, since companies are not experts in the medical field and do not provide their employees with proven guidelines on vaccines.

"The constitutional rights, bodily integrity, freedom of choice on medical grounds, beliefs and convictions of any employee in Namibia who is mandated to get vaccinated are violated, and they have the right to seek justice from a court of law," she said.

Nengushe said a vaccinated person can spread the virus as much as a non-vaccinated person.

"To be convinced that a vaccinated person is safer than an unvaccinated person is not reflecting the reality painted by the minister of health," she said.

Nengushe said it is saddening that some employees are forced to leave their jobs because they are not willing to be vaccinated.

She said these individuals are breadwinners.

"With the economy bleeding and on its knees, this segregation between the vaccinated and unvaccinated has the potential to hamper progress and social cohesion in our country," she said.

'NOT UNLAWFUL'

Advocate Ingrid Husselmann of the Office of the Ombudsman said from a legal point of view employers have an obligation to take steps to ensure the working environment is safe and does not pose a risk to the health of its employees.

"Accordingly, it is theoretically not unlawful for employers to impose mandatory vaccination in the workplace," she said.

She said imposing mandatory vaccination should logically only be done after the employer has conducted a thorough risk assessment of contracting or spreading Covid-19 on the business premises.

Husselmann said employees must remember that human rights are not absolute.

This means that sometimes an individual's rights can be limited after being weighed against and subjected to the rights of others.

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