Zimbabwe

Politician faces Aids infection charge

2011-06-23 13:24

Special Report

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Harare - An opposition Zimbabwe legislator was expected to appear in court on Thursday to face charges he had deliberately infected a state journalist with HIV/Aids.

A police spokesperson confirmed by phone on Wednesday from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, that MP Siyabonga Malandu Ncube was likely to appear in court on Thursday.

"We have done our investigations and he will appear in court on Thursday," said the police officer.

Ncube was arrested on Tuesday after apparently turning himself in, according to comments made by police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena to state media. He said Ncube's lawyer was present when he presented to police.

Ncube could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted. His lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Over the weekend, media reported that the MP from a party that has splintered from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change had infected a journalist working for the Chronicle newspaper in Bulawayo, a mouthpiece for President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party.

The reports said the journalist had reported her ordeal to police on Friday.

Lawyers on Wednesday said state prosecutors are required by law to prove that Ncube knew he had the virus, if indeed he does have it.

The courts in this southern African country have not seen any recent cases of a similar nature that charge deliberate infection with HIV, the virus that causes Aids.

- SAPA

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  hiv aids  |  southern africa

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