Zim thief takes Botswana govt to court

BULAWAYO - A Zimbabwe national serving a six-year jail term in a Botswana prison has dragged that countrys government to court over its decision to exclude foreign nationals in prisons from free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to keep the amount of HIV in the body at a low level.

Two years ago the Botswana government came up with a decision to scrap foreign nationals in several prisons in that country from free ARV treatment. In a High Court application drafted on his behalf by Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA),Francis Ndlovu described the governments decision to deny foreigners in Botswana prisons ARV treatment as discriminatory.

The application said Nyoni, who was convicted of car theft in 2005, is in a desperate position and his health is deteriorating each day due to lack of treatment. Speaking to journalists on the court application BONELA director, Uyapo Ndadi said there were many foreign nationals in Botswana prisons in similar circumstances.

We will take all their cases to court too. This governments policy is discriminatory and counterproductive. It exposes Batswana inmates who are on ARV treatment to opportunistic infections such as Tuberculosis and pneumonia because they share a number of things with their foreign counterparts. It also undermines treatment because we have shown that if all patients are on treatment chances of getting infected are minimal, said Ndadi

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