May 13, 2004

State legislates against discrimination on HIV / Private schools reopen

State legislates against discrimination on HIV / Private schools reopen

The Government reiterated that it is illegal to discriminate against workers for promotion on the basis of their HIV and Aids status. The Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa announced that Government had legislated against discrimination based HIV status. The Government was aware a number of people were being denied promotion because they had tested HIV positive or were suspected to be HIV positive. Dr Parirenyatwa urged the business community to invest in the health sector saying investors would receive tax rebates. He said a number of companies had taken the initiative but knowledge of the facility of tax rebates had not been effectively communicated to the business community. He also urged the media to publicise the issue of discrimination and that of tax rebates. The Government had responded to the HIV problem by establishing focal points in each ministry to deal with the challenge. Members of the business community suggested that billboards with messages such as Aids Kills should be replaced with ones that give hope. It was argued there are cases where people have survived as many as 20 years with the HIV virus. Members also said Government alone could not help stop the spread of HIV and Aids, suggesting that there should be incentives to encourage the greater participation of business.

Meanwhile, all but one of the 46 Zimbabwean private schools ordered closed last week by the minister of education have re-opened, after they agreed to reduce their fees. It is lessons as usual for the private schools, after they gave in to pressure from minister of education Aeneas Chigwedere to reduce their fees. The only school holding out is the Catholic run St. George's High in the capital, Harare. (The Herald, Harare / VOA News)

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