An outspoken member of parliament in Zimbabwe, Mrs. Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga has made sensational claims that 70 percent of the country’s sitting legislators were HIV positive.
Her parliament counterpart, Mrs. Sarah Mahoka weighed in saying Zimbabwean lawmakers who deliberately infected their sexual partners with the dreaded virus must be killed.
The two female legislators were contributing to a motion moved calling on Zimbabwe´s public service ministry to state its position on rampant cases of child commercial sexual activities in parts of the capital Harare.
The motion also called on the country´s ministry to institute a full scale probe into the vice.
But in her comments, Misihairabwi-Mushonga said lawmakers showed they were selfish when they supported the introduction of an HIV-Aids fund in the country so that they could benefit from drugs secured by the State but cared little about vulnerable children exposed to unprotected sex in the streets.
“Seventy-six percent of the people who are sitting in this House are living with HIV/AIDS and are taking ARVs but we are unable to…yes, very true,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said amid protests from her fellow legislators.
“You are unable to take out a little bit of money and put it aside so that it can be used to take care of these children, it is sad Mr. Speaker.”
The lawmaker who is a formers government minister said she also spoke for herself.
Her colleague, Mahoka, also warned her colleagues against spreading the virus while urging the killing of those caught on the wrong side of the moral question.
“I have heard that about 70% of Members of Parliament here are HIV positive,” she said.
“Let me say that the Honourable Members that are in this august House, that if they get tested, there is a fund that gives them free drugs.
“So, they should behave and not go about spreading the disease. As legislators they should lead by example.
“If there is corruption, we would want to see who is perpetuating it, if they are leaders, they should be given deterrent sentences.
“If a Member of Parliament infects an innocent person, that Member should be killed and that would be a lesson to like-minded persons.”
There have been no official statistics on the prevalence of HIV among Zimbabwean lawmakers.
In June 2012, some 60 Zimbabwean lawmakers went through voluntary HIV testing in an attempt to encourage citizens to know their HIV status.
Many of the legislators did not go on to reveal their status.
Speaking while launching the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV (ZIPAH) forum in Harare same year, Mr. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe´s president, said many of his comrades have fallen to the condition in the past three decades.
“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 then.
The previous 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.
(Picture caption: Mrs. Misihairambwi the lawmaker)
(Picture credit: our editors)
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