In #Togo, the government says vaccines are not mandatory but tells civil servants that they will not receive their salary if they do not get the vaccine.
In a country where citizens have little trust in the state , coercing people in such ways will only worsen the vaccine apathy pic.twitter.com/Rk5oPRPnRU
— Farida Bemba Nabourema (@Farida_N) April 14, 2021
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.
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.
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Later on April 14, 2021, Hon Gerry uploaded another memo (see screengrab below) stating that Mayor Aboka had repealed the earlier directives to condition wages on vaccination.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.
C'est quoi au juste cette tendance à vouloir rendre obligatoire le vaccin contre la #Covid19?
Déjà il y a pleins de restrictions. On nous dit pas de rassemblement de plus de 15 personnes, les espaces de détente fermés..
Et puis voilà un maire qui fait sa loi..#TgTwittos pic.twitter.com/olIPsMomGy
— Fabrice Sassou 🇹🇬 (@fabrice_sassou) April 12, 2021
Le maire #Aboka du #Golfe5 est revenu sur sa décision de priver son personnel de salaire faute de présentation de carnet de vaccination contre la #covid19 suite aux polémiques suscitées par la note.
Il a fait preuve de sagesse et de grandeur d'esprit. Félicitation
à lui ! pic.twitter.com/kK5FAj371o
— Fabrice Sassou 🇹🇬 (@fabrice_sassou) April 14, 2021
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.
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.