Monday, May 21, 2012

ZIMBABWE: 175 MPs to be circumcised - one, 65, demurs

Newsday (Zimbabwe)
May 18, 2012

175 MPs to be circumcised

By Veneranda Langa Senior Parliamentary Reporter
Some 175 MPs are set to get circumcised, while almost the same number will go through voluntary HIV testing and counselling, chairperson of Parliamentarians Against HIV and Aids (Zipah) Blessing Chebundo said yesterday.

In an interview, Chebundo, who is also Kwekwe Central MP, told NewsDay the MPs planned to be circumcised by the end of June to encourage Zimbabweans to take preventive measures against HIV/Aids.

These were resolutions that came out of a recent HIV/Aids workshop for MPs in Kadoma and we made three resolutions, that we will walk the talk as role models and lead by example to embark on voluntary HIV testing and male circumcision, as well as to inspire young people to do the same, Chebundo said.

We need to go down to constituencies, provinces, districts, wards and villages as Zipah to spread messages to fight HIV/Aids and encourage males to undergo voluntary circumcision.

Chebundo said the programme would be done publicly, adding 20 MPs had already filled in forms to get circumcised.

Almost 175 MPs who are members of Zipah are in support of this and also 25 members of staff at Parliament. We are still updating the list of volunteers.

Obviously female MPs are not going for male circumcision, but we have encouraged their spouses to join us, Chebundo said.

However, there are still pockets of resistance in the House, with such MPs as Felix Magalela Sibanda (Magwegwe) saying in Parliament on Tuesday that the programme was misguided.

HIV should be a syllabus for the youths at a tender age not to tell us here in Parliament when I am already 65 years old and you tell me to go and get circumcised when I have sired 18 children without circumcision, Magalela Sibanda said.

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