Strive Masiyiwa addresses employees over Covid-19 vaccination

by | Jul 28, 2021 | COVID 19 | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Strive Masiyiwa, the billionaire founder of the telecoms giant, Econet Wireless Global, on Tuesday, addressed his company employees in Zimbabwe for the first time in 22 years.

Jolted by a reported or perceived reluctance by his workers to embrace the vaccination program, the business mogul engaged his employees virtually, during which he personally implored them to get vaccinated and to continue observing regulations.
The meeting was extended to staffers at subsidiary organisations within Masiyiwa`s empire.

He referred to the need to get vaccinated as a ‘responsibility’ as ‘we are moving up and down in the stores and moving in the society’.
While at pains to try not to sound threatening to his employees, Masiyiwa who reminded them that he was indeed a ‘nice guy’, said that he hoped that the conversation will not have to change in a few weeks if workers` attitudes towards vaccination did not change.

This was seen by some of his workers as an implied deadline for compliance with the vaccination program, failure of which drastic action could be taken.

According to our source Masiyiwa – a Christian- invoked the Biblical ‘do unto others’ commandment, reminding employees that by getting vaccinated and consistently wearing masks, they were not doing it for themselves but for the next person.

“Do it for others. It’s not about you. The masks were never about you. They don’t protect you, they protect others,” said Masiyiwa.
“It’s got nothing to do with government instructions. It’s about doing the right thing.”
“We as a group, we have always been about doing the right things. We are not a political organisation. We are not interested in politics. We serve entire communities…we are for everybody,” Masiyiwa reportedly said.

Mr Masiyiwa particularly takes a keen interest in the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines in Africa as he is the face of the African Union’s Covid-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) as Special Envoy and Chairperson.

He has not spoken to Zimbabweans in general and this is the first time that he steps in to add a voice to the government’s drive to boost vaccine uptake for a quick return to normalcy.

Zimbabwe has authorised and approved the use of Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covaxin and Sputnik-V.

Recently the government has been on a spirited drive to acquire and distribute vaccines for quick attainment of the coveted herd immunity.
Masiyiwa, working closely with the African Union’s Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) and COVAX has been a fiery advocate for Western vaccines such as Johnson and Johnson which were earmarked to dominate the COVAX basket for Africa.

Strive Masiyiwa founded the Econet Group in Zimbabwe from humble beginnings and went on to be become one of the richest black men in the world.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, he has a net worth of £1.087 billion.