Mpofu, sons go under the knife

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Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu yesterday said he and his four sons had recently been circumcised following calls by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe for Cabinet ministers to undergo the process.

President Robert Mugabe is also on record urging all men to go under the knife as a way to reduce chances of HIV infection.

After giving his address at a Chief Executive Officers’ Africa Round Table at a Bulawayo hotel yesterday, Mpofu introduced the next speaker, DPM Khupe, telling her he had taken her advice alongside his four sons to be circumcised at the Bulawayo Eye Clinic.

Mpofu told the gathering that Khupe had brought a team of experts to a recent Council of Ministers’ meeting, to talk to ministers about circumcision and its benefits.

“I know you won’t believe this, but I joined her and said: ‘Look, if you want a good example of a minister who has done that, it’s me’,” said Mpofu, who is also the Member of the House for Assembly for Umguza.

“I have four handsome boys, and I wanted to go through that process and I said: ‘No, boys, let’s go to the Eye Clinic somewhere there’, and here I am, I went there not long ago and I think I am a proud product of that process. I appeal to you to go there and if you are scared I will be at the front of the line.”

Mpofu said many people in his constituency, especially the “Fengu outside Ntabazinduna”, took circumcision as part of their culture, hence “it was not hard for me”.

“They have come up with a modern way of doing it. So she (Khupe) might make mention of that and our fellow ladies should encourage us to do that. It’s healthy and it is a good thing to do,” he said.

Khupe said in Zimbabwe, “out of our entire population, 1,1 million people are infected with the scourge of HIV and Aids and this is too big a number which is why we try to bring systems and anything which will assist us in reducing the scourge”.

She said research had proved that circumcision reduced HIV infection by 60% in males.

“It’s not taboo anymore, but something that we are supposed to take seriously and I hope and trust that as chief executives you are going to take that issue seriously,” Khupe said.

“I am happy that minister Mpofu is leading by example and it clearly shows that he is one person who has a passion about his people and loves his country so much. I share that with him and I love my country very much . . . I will continue raising these issues regardless how critical at times they are or how other people take them.”