Police ban Aids activists march

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POLICE have banned a planned march by over 400 HIV and Aids activists from the Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV and Aids (ZNNPLWH) to mark the Pre-World Aids Day.

Report by Feluna Nleya Staff Reporter

ZNNPLWH wanted to march on October 10 from Africa Unity Square in Harare to the National Aids Council (NAC) offices to hand over a petition for uninterrupted access to anti retroviral drugs (ARVs) as a way of raising awareness about the shortage of the important drug.

In their response to ZNNPLWH, police refused to give the march the green light, but only allowed them to hand over their petition to NAC.

“I acknowledge receipt of your letter to hold the Pre-World Aids Day on the 10th of October 2012 by holding a march and handing over petitions to NAC offices from 0800 hours to 1200 hours. My office, however, regrets to advise you that your intended march is not approved, but you are only to hand over your petitions to the National Aids Council offices, number 100 Central Avenue,” said Officer Commanding Police Harare Central District Chief Superintendent Garikai Gwangwava in a letter addressed to the organisation.

Gwangwava said he expected the activists to co-operate with the police and other government agents.

In their letter to the police signed by Joao Zangaroti, chairperson of the ZNNPLWH Harare Metropolitan Province Advocacy Team, said they wanted to march from Africa Unity Square, stop over at Mukwati Building to hand over a petition to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare’s HIV and Aids and TB Unit, then proceed to NAC.

“The march by Harare Metropolitan Advocacy Team is expected to host 400 PLWHIV (People Living with HIV). It will be used as a platform to present evidence and factual presentations on the ART (anti-retroviral treatment) challenges that people living with HIV are encountering,” said Zangaroti.

Police have in the past banned numerous marches by different organisations citing security reasons.

1 COMMENT

  1. i think the police did the right thing to stop those people from marching for a cause which, in my view, should take sock of what is happening. just a few days ago zimbabwe was granted over 80million dollars from global fund for the aids, tb and malaria programme. it is too early to be asking for a laid egg to turn into chicken. lets give the government the time to put their house in order than to sensationalize issues.

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