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Zimbabwe Justice Rules Legislator Cannot be Compelled to Take HIV Test

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Malandu was arrested after his former journalist companion Simiso Mlevu, employed by the state-controlled B-Metro tabloid newspaper, charged he had infected her with HIV and later sent her abusive text messages

A Zimbabwean High Court judge ruled on Thursday that a legislator of the Movement for Democratic Change cannot be compelled to take an HIV test after a former lover accused him of knowingly infecting her with the virus that causes AIDS.

Granting an appeal by Insiza South lawmaker Siyabonga Malandu Ncube against a ruling last month by a magistrate ordering an HIV test to determine Malandu's health status, High Court Justice Maphios Cheda concluded that the magistrate erred in his ruling because there is no Zimbabwean law under which HIV testing could be imposed under his circumstance.

Mandatory tests are only permissbible in cases of rape; aggravated indecent assault; and when one has had sexual intercourse or perfomed an indecent act with a minor.

Malandu was arrested after his former journalist companion Simiso Mlevu, who is employed by the state-controlled B-Metro tabloid newspaper, charged that he had infected her with HIV and that he later sent her abusive text messages.

Malandu brought a counter-suit in the matter on Thursday accusing Mlevu of sending him insults on Facebook. Mlevu said that she has denied sending such messages.

Attorney Mlweli Ncube, representing Malandu, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamil Nkomo that the state case is crumbling. "Now we are headed for trial, and the move by the state to bolster its weak case has failed," Ncube maintained.

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