The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) would like to express its disappointment with the Vice President of Botswana, Lieutenant General Mompati Merafe, and stand in chair at the last National AIDS Council (NAC) for imposing the approval of the logo for the national prevention campaign last week Friday at the NAC, despite solid and sound arguments to the contrary.
At a meeting that sought to approve the branding of a campaign with the buy line: Tsaya Tshwetswo (Take a decision to prevent), the Acting Director of BONELA, Mr Uyapo Ndadi, raised arguments to the effect that this message was not a call to action to ensure zero new infections by 2016, which is the ultimate goal of the campaign. He and other stakeholders concurred that the log should bear the line Tsaya Kgato instead, which calls on individuals to take action now and not in the future.
According to Ndadi; “Although the Vice-President says our suggestion is too philosophical and decided to move for Tsaya tshwetso other stakeholders in the room felt, since the matter was not voted upon, the decision to endorse the logo as is was undemocratic. This decision may have been made out of expediency, but as a nation, we need to move towards action and not apologise for it, otherwise the HIV and AIDS pandemic will continue unabated. That is why we hear people preaching what they do not personally practice. A person will unflinchingly say ‘do as I say not as I do’. What’s that? We need action,” he said.