MDC-T deputy organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe has blamed Zanu PF for the high HIV and Aids prevalence rate in the country, saying the former sole ruling party’s ruinous policies resulted in poverty which was inseparable with the deadly virus.
Report by Nqobani Ndlovu, Staff Reporter
Addressing party supporters at a rally in Bubi District, Matabeleland North, on Saturday, Bhebhe claimed that poverty levels increased when Zanu PF took over power at Independence in 1980.
“HIV and Aids usually goes hand in hand with poverty. When Zanu PF took over power in 1980, poverty increased . . . The (HIV and Aids) prevalence rate has only been slowing down after the formation of the inclusive government when the economy was stabilised and poverty was reduced,” he said.
The rally was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, MDC-T legislators and councillors from Matabeleland North.
“There was no poverty before Zanu PF took over power,” Bhebhe said.
“There was everything, there was food, there was medication, hospitals and schools were open. But because of deprivation that came with Zanu PF’s misgovernance, poverty increased and the HIV and Aids prevalence rate also rose.
“For example, poverty forced women into desperation and promiscuity. Some women became the catalyst of HIV and Aids.”
Research has shown an increased risk of HIV infection among the poor due to poverty-related characteristics like little knowledge on countering the deadly pandemic.
Speaking at the same rally, Khupe said Zimbabwe should now go for elections as the inclusive government had failed to stimulate economic growth.
“The GNU (government of national unity) cannot grow this economy,” she said.
“The GNU has done its job. The GNU brought peace and stability, conditions that are needed for development. What we need now is an election to have a new government that will then bring investment and grow this economy. This GNU cannot attract investment because of discord among the parties.”
Khupe donated 20 bicycles to MDC-T campaign teams in the Inyathi area, amid speculation she is eyeing the parliamentary seat following reported defections which recently hit her Makokoba constituency in Bulawayo.