While launching the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV (ZIPAH) in Harare Mugabe who is 88 and has been in power since 1980 said that over the past three decades his comrades have fallen to the condition.
“Apart from what I have said that the pandemic took lives of my family members, but in my political family, comrades I have worked with, a lot of cabinet ministers perished, we did not announce it though but I can tell you a number of them died of AIDS, not all of them but quite a number of them,” President Mugabe said.
In September last year Mugabe said he was ashamed of some HIV positive senior officials in his government who continue to be promiscuous spreading the HIV virus at a time the country was working towards an HIV free generation.
The usual statement that has been expressed in the past years when senior government officials die has been “a short illness’ but on Thursady Mugabe confirmed the long suspected belief that it is HIV that is depleting his cabinet.
Mugabe challenged legislators to reveal their status after getting tested something that is sure to raffle feathers among MPs who have never declared their status even though after having been tested.
“You must walk the talk and for you to be good advisors to the public and even to intellectuals like cabinet Ministers. We know that you policy makers including cabinet ministers have small houses, tisu zvigevenga zvacho (We are the very culprits).We should not allow ourselves to be the epitome of the immorality that we condemn. That’s where the problem lies.
Zimbabwe is one of the few countries which have done well in the management of HIV and AIDS. The country has reduced its HIV prevalence from over 26% in 1997 to 13, 7% to date this despite challenges in funding AIDS programmes.
However, the cancellation of round 11 of Global Fund and indications by international that there are about to withdraw AIDS funding is likely to reverse gains that the country has achieved over the years.
Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV and AIDS is a network of individual legislators committed to increasing their role in the response to HIV. It contributes to collective efforts to reduce the impact of HIV in Zimbabwe communities.Post published in: News