By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
High Court judge Justice David Mangota has granted temporary relief to allow unvaccinated sit-in congregants to attend churches.
This comes after a human rights lawyer Obert Kondongwe, representing unvaccinated church congregants approached the High Court seeking nullification of the government ban on unjabbed worshippers from attending sit-in sermons.
Kondongwe cited Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, Health minister and Vice President Constatino Chiwenga, and the Attorney General as first, second, third and fourth respondents, respectively.
Justice Mangota ruled against the government and gave a relief for unvaccinated worshippers to go to church.
“The pending determination of this matter, the applicant is granted the following relief:-
“The statement issued by the 1st respondent on behalf of the Cabinet barring unvaccinated sit-in congregants in Churches be suspended pending the return date of this application.
“Further and as attendant to the foregoing, the conduct of the 2nd respondent in enforcing the statement by Cabinet and conducting arrests and criminal proceedings against unvaccinated sit-in church congregants be suspended pending the return date of this application,” read the order.
In his application, Kondongwe argued that in terms of Section 85 (i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the government statement ordering police to enforce the ban, was illegal and unconstitutional.
“There is no law currently in Zimbabwe which makes vaccination mandatory. Concomitantly, there is no criminal law which penalises church gatherings of unvaccinated congregants.
“It is trite that each person, having fully considered the implications and effects of vaccination, is expected to make a personal decision on whether or not to get vaccinated, and even to make a personal decision regarding the timing of such vaccination,” argued Kondongwe. Nehanda Radio