Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Jessie Kabwila has explained that her comments in relation to the controversial grants the National Aids Commission (Nac) gave to Beatify Malawi (Beam), National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) and Mulhakho wa Alhomwe were not insulting as being construed by some section of the society.
Kabwila described the release of money from Nac as “stealing from corpses.”.
She said: “Pa Malawi pano anthu afika pobera maliro, poyamba timangokamba zaCashgate za achina Lutepo ndi Mphwiyo koma lero anthu akumatenga ndalama zogulira ma ARVszimenezi zikutanthauzanji? Sikubera maliro kumeneku?”
The MCP spokeswoman said she stands by her remarks but defends herself , saying they were not deragotary to HIV positive people.
“What I said was that those stealing at National Aids Commission(NAC) are committing the similar crime like that of stealing from the funeral house, I said that just to emphasize the point on the gravity of the crime,” said Kabwira.
Kabwira said people should waste time in checking semantics.
“These things are coming in order to divert the attention of real issues[ economic turmoil and governance],” she said.
A Blantyre based Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) involved in advocating and promoting for health rights of all the people of Malawi and in particular HIV/AIDS, commonly known as Health, Rights and Education Programme (HREP) through executive director Maziko Matemba called on Kabwira to apologise to Malawians over her remarks.
Matemba said the statement has a potential to encourage stigma especially during the time Malawi is eying for door to door advocacy.
He said studies conducted so far singled out stigma and discrimination as major challenge hampering the fight against HIV and Aids in Malawi.
Matemba said it is against this background that various stakeholders involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS are making huge investments to stop stigma and discrimination.
Chairperson for the Supreme Council of Ulama Imram Shareef Mahomed said Kabwila has also added its voice on the comments.
“Jessie Kabwila is a respected person whom I believe reasons before making statements. We are concerned, however, on what she meant by connecting people with HIV/ Aids to death. As a person who has a big position we were expecting her, after explaining what she meant, to withdraw her statement since it has incensed some people,” said Shareef- Mahomed.
He said, the MCP publicist should have, before speaking, understood the fact that HIV/Aids is a sensitive issue and that it is uncalled for to condemn those living with the virus to death.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :