29th July 2014: NGAKA NGAKA IS A DISGRACE TO THE BOTSWANA POLITICAL LEADERSHIP!
The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) is disappointed in Honourable Member of Parliament (MP) for Letlhakeng-Lephephe constituency, Ngaka Ngaka as a leader. BONELA learnt with shock and dismay that a leader could be so irresponsible in the public, if his recent utterance at the launch of Minister and MP candidate Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri is anything to go by.
The statement by MP Ngaka Ngaka that he is ‘shocked that opposition parties encouraged people to boycott government programmes while they are taking antiretroviral’ is heavily laced with implications that may perpetuate stigma and discrimination, and is unbecoming of someone in such a position of influence.
Not only can it be inferred that the MP is showing blatant intolerance and disregard for voters living with HIV; his statement has the potential to deter opposition politicians to test for HIV and non-adherence to treatment for those who are on antiretroviral treatment.
While BONELA recognises that slander and ridicule of opponent’s parties has become part and parcel of lobbying the electorate for their votes, the right to freedom of expression should not infringe on the rights of others, such as the right to respect and dignity.
BONELA calls on all leaders to show respect, accountability and progressiveness in advancing the recognition and enforcement of human rights. BONELA condemns in strongest terms such disgraceful behaviour and for all stakeholders to take steps to ensure that leaders remember that they are in power to serve the people, not ridicule them.
For more information, please contact BONELA on 393 2516/72385054/73652185