Gure rabuda — the cat is out of the bag! AIDS / HIV activists and workers have always argued that the chefs are looting the AIDS Levy and other money meant for people suffering with AIDS under the National Aids Trust Fund. The government has always denied this.
Now that the chefs are fighting amongst themselves on how to divide the money looted from workers, the truth is coming out. Edwin Muguti, the deputy minister of Health revealed that the National Aids Council was wasting money on expensive hotel workshops, cars, furniture, trips and salaries whilst no drugs are being bought for the sick. Drugs are available only for 42 000 people whilst over 1.8 million need them. When the chefs realised how gure ravo had been exposed they put pressure on Muguti to retract his statements saying donors would withdraw funds, and spoil their party!
Enough is enough AIDS/HIV activists, workers and the poor in general must urgently organise demonstrations at the Ministry of Health and NAC offices demanding the immediate dissolution of the NAC Board and its replacement by one whose majority of members must come from people living with AIDS/HIV and the labour movement. Such Board must ensure free drugs and ARVs for all, together with support for subsistence. There must price controls on drugs and take-over of companies that make super-profits on drugs essential for life. ARV’s have gone up from $10 000 in July to $25 000 in September. We must organise pickets at such companies demanding lower and subsidised drugs just as we must at big supermarkets in our communities to give subsidised food and goods.