Civil servants can now breath a sigh of relief after President Uhuru Kenyatta reversed a directive by head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, threatening to stop their salaries if they do not receive the Covid-19 jab.
Kinyua had earlier directed all civil servants to get the first jab of Covid-19 vaccine by Monday, August 23, failure to which they would have their salaries and allowances stopped.
Speaking to the media at State House, the Head of State said that no Kenyan should be forced to take the vaccine.
He further directed that civil servants and teachers be allowed to take the jab at their own volition and not through coercion.
He, however, encouraged Kenyans, with a special focus on frontline workers and the elderly, to get vaccinated.
"We are not going to force anybody. It will be your decision whether you want to take or not. But I truly would encourage, especially those who are in that most vulnerable bracket, that it is essential that you be vaccinated," stated the Head of State.
On Monday, vaccination centers registered a surge in numbers as teachers and civil servants lined up in a bid to beat the deadline set by the government.
The hospitals and vaccination centers registered as high as 40 percentage increments in the number of people seeking the jab, forcing them to operate for longer hours.
"I am still here and I am not sure if I will get the vaccine because we have been told that they were only 160 doses remained," lamented a teacher in Trans Nzoia County.
The decision by the Head of Civil servant to make vaccination mandatory for civil servants was informed by the low intake of the jab countrywide.
Public Service and Gender Principal Secretary, Mary Kimonye, had issued another notice on Friday, August 20, stating that missing the jab will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
On Friday, August 20, Clement Koigi, a Nakuru-based lawyer, filed a suit seeking the court to declare the directive as unconstitutional as it violates basic principles enshrined in the constitution.
The lawyer stated that the directive was discriminatory as it infringes on civil servants' right to privacy and goes against fair labour practices in the country.
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