Did a Mayor in Togo Make COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory For Civil Servants?

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This (see below) memo from Aflao Gakli town hall, in the municipality of Gulf 5, Togo, has been shared a couple of times across various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

A translation of the same memo from French claims that anyone who exercises a professional activity exposing him to risks must compulsorily be vaccinated. It further adds that the salary of the month of April 2021 is conditioned by the presentation of a copy of the vaccination card to the Human Resources and Social Action Division by April 14, 2021, at 5:30 pm at the latest.

Background

Gulf 5, headed by Kossi Agbenyega Aboka is a municipality in Lome, Togo.

Between March 31st and April 13, 2021, Togo had reported a total of 1,785 COVID cases and 7 deaths.  Travel around Togo is permitted. However, land borders have been closed since March 30th and remain closed. Foreign travellers are required to fill an online immigration and health form and then pay for a COVID-19 test. They are also required to have the ‘Togo Safe’ application on their phone that allows them to specify where they would be isolating as they await their results. Those with positive results are required to self-isolate either at home or in a government facility. 

Verification

To debunk these claims, we ran a reverse image search on this image and Gerry Taama Komandega’s Facebook account appeared as one of the sites that uploaded this letter. Hon Gerry is a member of parliament, sociologist and writer. In a post dated April 13, 2021, he took to Facebook to condemn the directives by Mayor Aboka.

Later on April 14, 2021, Hon Gerry uploaded another memo (see screengrab below) stating that Mayor Aboka had repealed the earlier directives to condition wages on vaccination.  In that memo, workers in the town hall are encouraged to get vaccinated to avoid falling back into a disarray of massive contamination. Their salaries are not tied to whether they take the vaccine or not.

Another account on Twitter had also earlier posted the same memos, one about the stern directives by the Mayor of Gulf 5 and a most recent one about reversion of these directives.

Additionally, GNADOE a Togo online magazine had also published an article on Hon Gerry reprimanding Gulf 5’s mayor over mandatory requirements to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

In his defence, Mayor Aboka cited his earlier directives as being misinterpreted. He further said that as vaccination remains the only means necessary for collective immunity, all city hall officials were therefore required to take the vaccination. 

Verdict

It is TRUE that the Mayor of Gulf 5 did make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for civil servants in the Alfao Gakli town hall. However, he later reverted these statements.

 

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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Nyakerario Omari

Nyakerario J. Omari is a Kenyan writer and journalist with a passion for in-depth stories told through documentaries. She has an interest in reporting matters concerning health, crime and human rights.