Eba Kandovazu

GOVERNMENT will not spend additional funds for the procurement of sufficient vaccines to vaccinate all soldiers in the country, following a directive that compels solders to get vaccinated.

Defence and Veteran Affairs Minister, Frans Kapofi, says the ministry will make use of the available vaccines in the country. Last week, the Chief of Defence, Martin Pinehas, ordered the compulsory vaccination of all soldiers, as of last Wednesday. Pinehas says soldiers are at liberty choosing their preferred vaccines but only those with medical issues, with hypersensitivity and those allergic to vaccine components would be exempted.

“No exemptions based on religious, philosophical and personal beliefs shall be accommodated,”Pinehas says.

Asked whether there would be repercussions for soldiers who refuse to take the vaccine, Kapofi says he is confident that no one would defy the order. “That is not a concern at all. Our soldiers are disciplined. Traditionally, you do not refuse a lawful command. Soldiers are not trained to defy. They know their positions. I encourage all our soldiers to heed to the lawful command by their Chief. I am confident that they will,” Kapofi says adding that a vast majority of soldiers live in barracks at army bases and the vaccine would help limit the spread of Covid-19.

“I am also vaccinated with Sinopharm. My family too. I know how it feels like to get sick from the virus. I have gone through it and it is not a nice thing. The vaccine will keep the soldiers ready and fit to fight Covid-19,” Kapofi stresses.