By Nqobani Ndlovu
Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo on Saturday claimed that a number of MPs are suffering from Aids with some having lost their spouses to the disease. Moyo made the claims at a prayer meeting for Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe held in her Makokoba constituency. Khupe is suffering from breast cancer and is due to go for chemotherapy before the end of the year.
Moyo, who is also the MDC-Tchairman challenged other leaders to emulate Khupe and disclose their health problems to help end stigma around certain diseases. “Let’s follow what Khupe has done by being open about her illness,” Moyo said. “This is a challenge to all leaders, especially parliamentarians in this country. There are many of them in parliament who are suffering from HIV and Aids.
“They have lost their wives to HIV, we know them. They are taking tablets to try and manage their skin to look healthy.” He said he was concerned that the MPs were knowingly passing on the virus to young women whom they marry without disclosing their status. Moyo disclosed that he is suffering from diabetes even though he looks “healthy.” Diabetes is a chronic illness.
President Robert Mugabe last month told delegates at the second national Aids conference that he knew of senior government officials who were taking ARVs and passing the virus to innocent women. A journalist employed by the state media early this year caused the arrest of Insiza South MP Siyabonga Malandu-Ncube accusing him of infecting her with the virus.
Ncube is denying the charges and has won a High Court challenge against a magistrate’s court ruling that sought to force him to take an HIV test. Zimbabwe has managed to significantly reduce HIV prevalence from as high as 26,5% in 1997 to 14,3% in 2009 among adults between 15 and 49 years of age. HIV sero-prevalence among pregnant women also decreased from 20,1% to 16,1% by the end of 2009. Zimbabwe Standard
To help maintain editorial independence Nehanda Radio relies on donations from readers like you. No donation is too small or too big. Help by donating to fund our operations.