By Ousman A Marong
An unidentified witness who was part of the former President Yahya Jammeh’s HIV/Aids treatment programme, has told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission TRRC that she avoids living with people in settlement areas due to stigmatization.
“My own husband has rejected me after I was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS by former President Yahya Jammeh’s alternative treatment. I was left alone with my family, and I could no longer stay with people. I had to look for rent outside the settlement areas. I always find it difficult to pay for my rent. I accumulate months of arears before paying my rent. There was a time the yard owner informed me that he wants to come and settle in the compound in which I was living. I knew very well that was not the reason. The only reason was that I was not paying my monthly rents on time,” said the protected witness.
She made these revelations at Dunes Hotel, while testifying before the Truth Commission.
“I was taking care of the compound just like my own. I do the sweeping, clearing, etc. I believe it was due to this that he was ashamed to notice and he had to come up with the idea of telling me that he wants to come and settle in the compound. During the Presidential alternative treatment, I was shown on both Al-Jazeera and CNN TV and we were asked how the treatment was going on. My stepfather who brought me up show me on Al-Jazeera and called me insulting my mother,” she remarked.
She said her stepfather asked why she did not informed him before going to presidential alternative treatment.
The Effect Of The President’s Medicine:
The witness described the medicine as intoxication, saying when one drinks it, you feel as if you are seeing two people at a time. She said the medicine was called “Ginea”. She added: “Those whose heads are not strong if they drink it anytime they started talking loosely. After drinking the medicine, it is soldiers who normally help us. Those who are strong and energetic would be asked to run while people like us whose legs are not good and cannot run would be asked to walk,” she remarked.