MBABANE: Desperate times call for desperate measures!
This idiom seems to have rung true with the Buy n Save Spar management who had allegedly resorted to injecting its workers with what is purported to be one of the vaccines against the much feared and deadly Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
Independent News well established that Buy n Save Spar Chain stores management around the country are supposedly injecting their workers against the deadly coronavirus.
Senior and reliable sources within the company disclosed to Independent News that the exercise began in early April, with one worker saying she was called to one of the managers’ offices on April 6 and was informed of the developments.
She said it was clearly explained to her how the injection would save not only her life but would also go a long way to sustain the business which its continued operation now hangs in the balance following the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Our sources further detailed how nurses from one of the reputable pharmacies supplying pharmaceutical products to Spar were deployed to the stores where they injected the workers.
Workers who were randomly interviewed by Independent News revealed that they neither showed symptoms of the virus nor reported any sickness, but were called in for the injection. Some said they were not sure if the exercise was genuine and were scared that they would develop allergies. One of the workers told this publication that the part of her body where she was injected was now and again itching and it was irritating that she had to scratch herself in public. “They did not ask us whether or not we were allergic or prone to injections, but imposed it on us,” said one of the shop assistants.
Independent News visited two of the Buy n Save Spar stores in Mbabane and gathered from officers that the workers were injected in groups at different times according to seniority.
An officer at one of the shops told Independent News that first to be injected were the shop assistants, after a brief explanation about the ‘importance’ of the exercise. An unsuspecting senior officer of Asian origin confirmed the genuineness of the exercise but began to hold back information when asked if it was linked to the Coronavirus outbreak and if government was aware. He heatedly referred further questions to management.
A questionnaire was sent to one of Buy n Save directors Nasser Mansoor through SMS and WatsApp but he could not respond to either despite a clear indication that he read the message sent through the latter (WatsApp) messaging app as indicated by the display of the blue ticks.
Further efforts were made to reach Senator Tony Sibandze, who doubles as Buy n Save Spar Financial Manager. Senator Sibandze acknowledged receipt of the WatsApp message and briefly wrote: “I am not in the office now until tomorrow. I can assist you tomorrow and I hope its not too urgent. But…I think the information you have does not seem to be correct based on your questions. It should be the other way round.”
Government has been continually issuing information that the only precautionary measures which should be adhered to are those which were laid down by her (government) and any additional measure is false and constitutes prosecution by the courts.
Director of Health, Dr Vusi Magagula said in as far as he knowns, the Buy n Save matter didn’t involve government despite that the workers at Spar were told that they were being protected against the deadly Coronavirus, which is not only a national but a global pandemic. Magagula went on to say, he understands the reported vaccination of the employees to be a labour issue.
“At the work place, agreements to administer treatment are between employer and employee and government is not involved,” said Magagula. On the same note, Police Public Relations Officer, Phindile Vilakati said nothing has been reported to them and despite that, there are precautions set by the government of Eswatini pertaining to Covid-19, adding that there are agreements entered into between employer and employee and police are not involved, unless a criminal case is reported.
Chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Team, Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said he doesn’t know anything about injections as part of the precautionary measures to curb the coronavirus, but since it was a medical issue, he referred further questions Minister of Health Lizzy Nkosi. He said perhaps the workers are injected against other illnesses which would be an agreement between them as adults and the management. “There are no guidelines that include the administration of injections against the coronavirus as set by government,” he said.
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