A Zanu PF minister with a penchant for speaking with foot on his mouth has stirred a fierce HIV/AIDS war cry by berating an opposition politician over his presumed health status.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Terence Mukupe mocked People's Democratic Party president Tendai Biti during a live debate on national radio, Star FM.
During the debate, which was largely a right of reply for Biti, Mukupe angrily quipped about the former Finance minister supposed intake of life prolonging drugs, the Anti-Retro Virals.
Biti has accused Mukupe, who was earlier blasted for suggesting that corruption was good for Zimbabwe, of not being a serious leader who debated as if he was intoxicated.
"Being a leader requires seriousness and not clowning. Leaders must not debate as if they are drunk," retorted Biti.
Mukupe angrily protested the assertion by Biti and in the process asked him if he took his ARVs today.
"Don't insult me Biti. Ko iwewe did you take your ARVs today," he said as the two Star FM's 263 Xpress hosts Phathisani and KVG injected and apologised to the former finance minister.
Zimbabweans reacted angrily to Mukupe's statements with some saying it is regretful that a whole government minister publicly stigmatizes HIV positive people.
". . . to have a minister of government going on national radio to use HIV stigma as a political weapon as done by Terence Mukupe on Star FM today is a total disgrace. Mnangagwa (President Emmerson) has a million reasons why he must fire Terence Mukupe as deputy minister of finance. His antics today on Star FM in which he trolls 1.4 million Zimbabweans living with HIV – including colleagues in government – shows him for what he is: a little pathetic man of small ideas," journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu charged.
Another social media user, Thabi Joy reacted saying the conduct by Mukupe "only serves to perpetrate stigma surrounding those living with HIV."
Surely this is enough signal to show that theis man is not fit to serve the people of Zimbabwe," she said.
A Human Rights organisation, Zimbabwe Peace projects immediately condemned Mukupe's statements and urged politicians to avoid using inflammatory language.
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