LILONGWE, May 22 (Reuters) - Malawi’s luxury presidential jet, bought by late leader Bingu wa Mutharika, has been sold for $15 million to raise cash for the impoverished African country, a government official said on Wednesday. Mutharika, who left the economy on the brink of collapse after he picked a fight with donors whose support accounted for almost 40 percent of the budget, bought the jet for $22 million in 2009. He said the plane matched his status and was cheaper than flying commercially. Britain, Malawi’s main bilateral donor, criticised the purchase and reduced its aid budget to Mutharika’s government by 3 million pounds ($4.5 million) because if it. President Joyce Banda, who took office in April last year after Mutharika died of a heart attack, made the sale of the jet a priority as she sought to repair the economic damage. Chintu Phiri, principal secretary in the office of the President and Cabinet, told Reuters that Virgin Islands company Bohnox Enterprise Ltd had beaten three other bidders for the 14-passenger Dassault Falcon 900EX aircraft.
Violence against Women is seen to perpetuate an increased risk for HIV infection in Uganda. Activists are now saying as they commence 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence.
The International Campaign which was started in 1991 by Rutgers University (USA), Global Centre for Women Leadership has since been marked annually from 25th of November to the 10th of December.
But in Uganda, it comes at a time when the 2011 Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) indicates that 59% of women in the country experience violence, 16% of pregnant women face violence, while 28 % have experienced sexual violence.
The status has not changed much in the past year, Tina Musuya Executive Director of Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) says.
She illustrates that for instance, the Uganda Police Annual Crime Report of 2011 records over 463 cases of rape, 7542 cases of defilement and 9343 cases of Domestic Violence were reported.
Musuya explains that violence against women is directly linked to prevalence in HIV/Aids, because often at times women are not able to negotiate for safer sex due to their lower status, economic dependency and fear of violence from their male intimate partners.
//Cue in: Safe sex can…”
Cue Out…be addressed together”.//
Musuya pointed out that the situation is alarming considering that in 2010, Uganda passed a Domestic Violence Act, yet this form of violence continues to happen with impunity.
But Jeane Kemitare a Senior Program Officer with Raising Voices- an organisation that works towards prevention of violence argues that there are many underlying causes of violence which should be addressed.
//Cue in: Women have less…”
Cue Out: against their partners…”//
Activities aimed at preventing violence and explaining how it is linked to an increase in HIV are being carried out in Rubaga, Nakinde Salaama and Kisubi divisons. In addition, similar activities are ongoing in Bugiri, Busoga and other districts to mark the 16 days.
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