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Kwani uongo si viherehere vyao , mbunge anena

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Salas, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Salas

    Salas JF-Expert Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
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    On 29th /June/ 2011 at 3:30 PM, the Honorable Mr. Kessy Ahmed (MP) member of parliament of Nkasi Constituency, when discussing the Prime Minister's office in Dodoma during the budgetary session commented that:

    'The government is allocating a large share of funding in HIV/AIDS, which is worthless investment. Government should no longer invest in HIV/AIDS because People who get infected with HIV/AIDS should be disregarded because they get the disease on their own will. The Government should now shift to increase funding to others projects like roads construction or others sectors or to others diseases that people contract out of their will.'

    This statement was heard and viewed by many people in the Government TV (TBC1) and Star TV, and also was quoted by Mtanzania news paper issue no 5624 of 2/7/2011 under the subheading ‘Mbunge ataka wabunge wanawake wapunguzwe'

    Deeply concerned, We, people living with HIV in Tanzania, would like to express our sincere disappointments, discouragement and discontentment from this statement that was honored by the House of parliament.

    To us, this is a degrading and humiliating statement, full of shame, annoyance and highly discriminating, stigmatizing and disrespectful to the entire community of Tanzanians, PLHIV, Government leaders, Development Partners and others key stakeholders involved in the fight against HIV in the country.

    It is unbelievable to comprehend that such kind of speech could be uttered by such highly respected leader, and very surprisingly that even others members of parliament did not seem to be shocked nor did they express any concern regarding the statement uttered by the fellow MP.

    What makes us even more concerned is the fact that this statement was given in the House of parliament during the presentation of the Prime minister's office Budget to the MPs. No wonder that the same statement was recorded in the House Hansard.

    Given the above situation, we would like to condemn and express to you and the entire world that all this is a translation of lack of knowledge and political commitment of our law makers in addressing national issues as far as HIV is concerned.

    How would you say that children who were born HIV positive, persons infected with HIV while caring for HIV positive patients, those who were infected because of their gender status, or sexually abused, or those who were infected through blood transfusion, or those who contracted the disease because of their faithfulness to their partners, did they all wanted to be infected with HIV on their own will? By the way, we have never read or heard any science/evidence that shows that HIV is transmitted through one's own will.

    No, if this is a new knowledge we will be happy and grateful to learn it and its source. To our surprise, we never heard any of the MP in the house, or any Minister from Prime Minister's office, nor did the Prime minister himself respond or react in any way on the matter.

    There were also other responsible persons in the House including members of the Parliamentarian Standing Committee on HIV/AIDS, Commissioners of TACAIDS, other MPs representing the CSOs, and there was no reaction from either of them.

    This is really a grave and serious problem that needs to be addressed as we work to address stigma. The Parliament is in fact stigmatizing very much. It is indeed a political scandal that has been committed by the policy making body.

    It is in this background that, as we are firmly and confidently standing together, since no response was given out by the government, we collectively would like to draw the conclusion that the government was in agreement with the parliamentarian's argument to reallocate the funding.

    As a National Council of PLHIV in the country, we dare to say that we no longer have confidence and trust into our Government and the Parliament as well. We are in doubt if at all both the Government and Parliament have a real capacity to deliver on the commitments made recently at the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS to support global efforts toward zeroing new HIV infection, AIDS related deaths and discrimination in the country.Given this background, we PLHIV in Tanzania have the following concerns, that:

    • The parliament has demonstrated a serious political indecency and immaturity by not observing that, the utterance was totally against Human Rights, was discriminatory, stigmatizing and unrespectful to the government and the public at large;
    • The parliament has proved both to the public and Development Partners' community that it does not recognize resourceful efforts and support the government receives from the donors on the HIV national response taking into consideration that Development Partners contribution to the national HIV response budget is over 95%;
    • The parliament members lack integrity and commitment to serve the people that voted them to voice for their constituencies;
    • The Prime Minister's Office has shown lack of political and institutional commitment in accepting and letting the MPs statement go without any reaction. To us this translates how the government is also not being responsible and accountable to the welfare and support for PLHIV in the country;
    • Such statement may lead to consider such outrageous statement as official Government stand and further lead to reluctance from some MDAs and/or local authorities or local partners to adequately fund HIV/AIDS activities in the coming period;
    • It gives us and the international community the impression that the Parliament of Tanzania, as a policy and lawmaking body does not have knowledge of how HIV spreads and about the ABCs of HIV transmission and its impact. Although the Parliament has been supported for implementation of HIV response activities within its constituencies such as TAPAC and the Standing Committee on HIV, the lack of immediate response from the floor raises concerns about the usefulness and effectiveness of the support received;
    • Such kind of statements and others of the same nature have repeatedly been uttered by high ranked and respected leaders of our Government in public without being counter argued by responsible institutions and high level leadership.
    In view of these concerns, we PLHIV, humbly present to you our request to immediately act as follow:
    • UNAIDSto support NACOPHA in sending this message as widely as possible including to Development Partners (DPG-AIDS) and the Global community involved in protecting Human Rights and those fighting against HIV/AIDS to condemn such a statement;
    • UNAIDS and other Development Partners to request Government to explain the non-response on the matter and for not being responsible to the parliament statement;
    • UNAIDS together with other Development Partners to demand both the Government and the Parliament to apologize to the public, and the international community for supporting such a heavily discriminating and stigmatizing statement against PLHIV;
    • UNAIDS to support NACOPHA's agenda to visit and meet the Prime Minister, Speaker of the House and TAPAC members in Dodoma in the ongoing Bunge session in bid to present this case to the Government and members of parliament.
    On the medium and long-term:
    • UNAIDS to facilitate NACOPHA's demand to the government to create a space and have PLHIV own representation in the house;
    • UNAIDS to support NACOPHA's agenda to advocate for the development of a national policy framework that will recognize and guide how PLHIV can better be supported.

    Statement against Tanzanian MP discriminating & stigmatizing PLHIV during budgetary sessions - Wavuti