Monday, June 24, 2024

Those opposing the Mandatory HIV Testing can go to Court-President Lungu


President Edgar Lungu wave the part symbol shortly before his departure to Rwanda at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday 17-08 2017. Picture by ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS
President Edgar Lungu wave the part symbol shortly before his departure to Rwanda at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday 17-08 2017. Picture by ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS

President Edgar Lungu has challenged people threatening to take the newly introduced compulsory Testing, Counseling and Treatment for HIV to court to go ahead. Speaking to the media at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport before departure for Rwanda, President Lungu wondered why some people are lamenting that their human rights are being violated when he is concerned about their welfare.

The President said that there was no need for Zambians to worry over the newly introduced compulsory Testing, Counseling and Treatment for HIV because there will be strict confidentiality. The President said that individuals’ privacy is guaranteed because their results will remain between them and the health practitioner.

The President said those found to be positive will be treated so that their lives can be prolonged.

President Lungu said that it was unfair that some people are even labeling him a dictator simply because the landmark pronouncement he made.

President said that he cannot be a dictator when he is showing commitment in promoting good health practices.

And Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said that the widespread HIV opportunistic infections in Zambia prompted cabinet to unanimously assent to making HIV testing compulsory to all citizens visiting health facilities across the country.

Speaking at Lusaka’s Chrisma Hotel yesterday during the Patriotic Front (PF) interactive forum, Dr. Chilufya said HIV reinfections are the causes of nearly eighty one per cent of recorded mortalities at Zambia’s highest referral facility, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH)

Dr. Chilufya who is also Mansa Central Member of Parliament said government’s action to making HIV testing mandatory to every Zambian who visits any health was timely and people should not politicize it as HIV is nonpartisan.

The Health Minister has since cautioned health personnel to keep HIV and AIDS information for the clients in the strictest confidence as they under oath.

“The widespread HIV opportunistic infections in Zambia prompted cabinet to unanimously assent to making HIV testing compulsory to all citizens visiting health facilities across the country” Dr. Chilufya said

On Monday this week President Edgar Lungu announced at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka that HIV testing had become mandatory to everyone who visits any health facility.


  1. Its a waste of time going to the PFourts which are not independent anymore but being used & controlled by visionless Jonathan with his violent PF bandits.

    This dictatorship of blind Lungu is going to far!

    The Skeleton Key

    • Jonathan Jonathan! Why don’t you do a public compulsory test first?? lead by example,,, and take those ARVs in public, show people they are not harmful

    • Now here is why~The Skeleton Key 206~calls PF visionless under Jonathan Lungu who lives on interfering with people’s human rights & forcing them to do things without their consent. Just 2 reasons why PF as a party are VISIONLESS BANDITS!

      ~Everything PF does, they do it without any consultation with the stakeholders. Unless if it removing Zambia’s membership from ICC.
      ~PF never listens to any advice from people with dissent analytical views & DECISION making doesn’t condone such incompetence.

      So,PF is a visionless party full of violent backward bandits who make decisions without consulting with other stakeholders~such a shame!

      When will katondo mentality ever end kanshi twapapata PF bandits?

      The Skeleton Key

    • All those aggrieved just take him to court, he has never been prepared, he is a mess whenever he goes to court, you wonder what law he did at school.

    • After exhausting bribes from road contracts, they now resort to plundering money through procurement of HIV test kits and ARV’s.


    • There goes Lazy Lungu on another tour…if this goes to court he will surely lose..though I support the initial intentions but its what they will do after with such test results and that’s why its an infringement of human rights. This goes to court the state will surely lose …Lazy Lungu is a bad lawyer only a fooool would take him seriously.

    • It would have been prudent for the government to first find the cure (not life prolonging ARVs) then subject us to curable treatment otherwise people will be committing suicides right at the hospitals. People have already lost hope to live longer anymore because of the many hardships and you want to add HIV anguish on them.


    • In life if you tell grown ups what to do in a disrespectful way, They will always do the exact opposite, EL you do not tell people what to do but work with them, EL the dictator.

    • Its simply demagoguery for the President to relate calls for him being a dictator to this case for HIV.
      In real cases and situations where it calls for his comment, he keeps silent. But in this case it seems this an opportunity to for him to regain back some credit. Doesn’t work that way, bwana.

    • This one has been missed totally. We need to find a way to increase testing and not mandatory. There must be other ways to do this.

    • The most incompetent, inconsequential, the worst misleader to have come from Zambia ever, and I can state categorically, out of Southern Africa and Africa. Perhaps even the world. What wasted years, for this country. Pain is not even quantifiable.

  2. Mr. President, it is such pronouncements that earn you the moniker of dictator! Why can’t you communicate in a conciliatory manner. You say you are humble, but the way you speak shows pride and arrogance. People will resist you, not because you have said something bad, but because you have said it in a way that makes them feel like you are insulting them. Please learn to be humble not only in demeanor but also in your communication style!

    • That’s my president. We need such a leader to make things happen in the country full of lazy and critic for nothing individuals. Way to go ecl. Now can you command orderliness and cleanliness in all towns. Those who will object to live in a clean environment should seek judicial help.

    • Being a dictator is not bad sometimes. ECL and his government should just go ahead and do what the people of Zambia (atleast the 51%) voted him to do. Yoweri Museveni is labeled a dictator but his policies have resulted into a low HIV infection rate from about 15% to 7% now.
      Go ECL Go. Actually go to the UPND secretariat and have all those chap tested for HIV.

  3. Can he refute reports of the $52million deal with Indian companies to supply $7million worth of ARVs and $45million worth of test kits and someone’s kickback of $5.2million as revealed by the naughty Zambian eagle. Where people smell money, they refuse to reason straight. Chimbwi pakulila …

    • Painful truth

      Obviously he will refuse & turn a blind eye like they always do these PF visionless, corrupt & violent bandits.

      The rat is stinking! Remember that PF bandits without any consultation of stakeholders turned UTH into several dispensaries. Just like they are now turning UNZA into 5 colleges.

      The entire HIV test kits & ARVs costs $45million but corrupt Jonathan’s PF ballooned it to $52million & the leftovers of $7million~~$5.2 million to Jonathan & $1.8 million will be shared by gluttonous PF bandits.

      By the way, fatherless Frankless Bwalya walked naked along Cairo rd as promised if HH was released from jail. But has Mumbi Phiri committed suicide & Edwin Lifwekelo stooped taking ARVs as they respectively pledged to HH’s freedom?

      The Skeleton Key

  4. I have never seen anything like this!!! Why would you force someone to have an HIV test just because they visit your health institutions? Even when people know their status and start the so called treatment that would not prevent reinfection? I wonder? This is a complex issue and I thing we need more education starting from earlier ages and let testing be open to those who want testing. You can not force people to do what they don’t want. I am also concerned about my health and I do not need the president to think for for me or his cabinet ministers.

    • You started having these education about hiv over 2 decades ago but the infection rate hasn’t been reduced. Someone just has to put his foot down to overcome this epidemic. We will know your status and put you on treatment whether you want or not. It’s non negotiable. Find other things to politicise not health matters. Ba kolwe you are dying and when help comes you are criticising.

    • Lungu is speaking as if he is talking to children in a nursery school or his children. I’m an adult and surely care for my health and lungu is supposed to force me to do what I’m not ready for. Why didn’t he take the test himself when declaring for all to know his status. Now I know why they want to force people. they want to steal these million dollars. African leaders have no shame. He was even getting annoyed on the airport tarmac. Zambian voters are such id10ts.

  5. So now HIV testing in Zambia has become mandatory like a drivers license? Try that in the USA and see how civil liberties are protected.

    • Spot on! The trouble with Zambians is they don’t value their civil liberties and Zambians always want to be defined by politicians. Compulsory and mandatory testing only works in Veterinary medicine and not in human medicine! Is our health minister a Vet Doctor?

    • Zambia is not the US. Zambia is Zambia. Compulsory testing is what Zambia needs. Those against this policy can take the matter to court or commit suicide.

  6. What confidentiality are you talking about? There is more behind this that we can perceive and eventually it will come out. The best approach would be to ask the people/ nation and get their views before pronouncing such policies that are so close to people. I have had HIV tests several times of this nature when traveling because some stupid people somewhere think we are all HIV positive! I really don’t think it is a good idea to impose it on someone. This kind of attitude of meeting in dark corners and make such decisions because you will benefit in a way is selfish and inhuman! Power at its best! When it gets into your head there is always a problem. You guys are facilitators not dictators! Only in Africa can you do this….we are really taken for a ride!! Shame!!

    • Moreover this is the reason we are not respected as Africans. This is negative publicity for our country and everyone will start testing all Zambians before entering those countries. PF has just magnified this HIV stigma. So Sad!

    • I fully remember when the government consulted the people over leaving the ICC. The stakeholders including the skinholders said its a waste of time and resources to take their views. Now when you are not consulted you get upset. Hmmm!

    • We did not want that consultation either as it was a straight forward issue. But it went ahead anyway since it was just dictated.
      The HIV testing has also been dictated on us. You don’t lead people like this.
      Lacking wisdom. Always coming up with smthg shocking! Any vision? No.

  7. Mr president, to my understanding you are not a dictator. However, good isn’t universal, neither is bad. I personally think you rushed to make that decision. To those who are not happy with your decision, take time to listen to their views. People love it when those they look up to listen to them. They label you a dictator because they feel you don’t care about their views.

  8. @ndobo,
    You have hit the nail on the head, your comment sums up so well. Why the hell can’t this visionless Lungu think before he opens his mouth at the airport which has become his office. Let him be the first to have those tests, what is he hiding? Yes, he is a dictator, imposing every dirty decision on docile and helpless Zambians.

  9. Never get tired of educating people some will listen and other will not! We go to school and in the end others make it in life and others don’t. Other people make it without education. So don’t make a fallacy in your conclusions! HIV has touched the core of nature and that is why anything to do with it is not simple…it is indirectly if not directly fighting nature. You can ask someone to replace nshima with potatoes and rice but when it comes to our sexuality it is a different case altogether. My point is we should not get tired of educating ourselves on matters of this nature because they touch our lives.

  10. What more can I say? There is more civility in asking the nation. You create your own monster by being big headed. I rest my case see you after 3 yrs and thank God for now I won’t go through this crap!!

  11. Start with your Cabinet and PF cadres or are you targeting the opposition again? Dora and Mumbi need it more. Start from there … Kikikiki

    • There is no guarantee that when people know their status infections will go down. Some people because they don’t know their status are very careful about who they sleep with but when they come to know that they have HIV they become reckless. This is very true with some people especially those in the sex industry. They will start the ART treatment and look very health and they will say, what is there to fear when i’m already infected. The reason behind this declaration is just to steal the $55 million plus meant for purchasing medecines and test kits, period. whatever they are telling is just lies. When did these politicians start caring about lives of…

    • individual citizens when they have failed to look after their families. Some these politicians we knew them even before accidentally occupying the offices they today find themselves in.

  12. I bet you the next trip in September Edgar Lungu is going to Kenya for Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration.Expensive uncommitted Lungu .

  13. Ba UPND donkeys surely you are better than this the Honourable Minister is telling you tha 81% of deaths at UTH are AIDS related and as a responsible government they have come up with a policy to counter this . But as usual everything is politics to you I personally have lost relatives and friends who if they had known their status would have started ARVS early and would be alive today.

    • The minister is telling lies and you are quick to believe lies. I have never seen a death certificate from UTH where they indicate the cause of death as HIV. Where is he getting his statistics? Has he been testing people secretly without their knowledge? There is a better way to deal with these issues that the way he is going about them. It is reckless to think you can force people to test for HIV.

  14. At times I just feel that people will complain just for the sake.
    1. It is mandatory for a pregnant woman in Zambia to undergo an HIV test in Zambia. Why didn’t people complain when it was introduced.
    2. The law was passed some years back and I have never heard of health workers not being confidential over the same.
    3. Morality rate for new borns has reduced
    4. Replicating the same law to every citizenry so that lives are saved, you start complaining?
    5. You people saying the human rights are being violated are the ones that are in the forefront stigmatizing.
    6. Please give govt. time To sensitize the public and save lives.
    7. Even when one goes to the hospital the health workers does not get permission to check for bp/ sugar levels…. & lives are saved.

    Some of you here…

  15. So to you Ba UPND ECL just woke up and made the announcement??. The Honourable Minister is a qualified Medical Doctor and so is his PS to me this policy is timely the earlier you start you medication the better for you as you will not be vulnerable to opportunistic infections. But just because you donkeys want to go to State House there is no single good deed this government has done SHAME!!. As it was before how many people have gone for VCT??? Only pregnant women and those who are in fatal condition

    • He sounds like a Vet Doctor! Mandatory testing only happens in animal populations. Animals have no choice but humans have a free will! Is he trying to say there is an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the human population to warrant mandatory interventions? Their ill fated policy can only be explained by their greed for kickbacks from India! They want to cash in on our people’s ignorance! Cheap ARVs and test kits from India at $52million is what this noise is about with a handsome 10% kickback! Wake up Zambians!

    • A qualified medical doctor knows what the position of UN Agencies is on HIV testing. He’s just doing this to protect his job or for corruption.

  16. I support mr lungu whole heartedly on this .

    Young girls and young men are being infected without the perpertratores knowing.

  17. I support mr lungu whole heartedly on this .

    Young girls and young men are being infected without the perpertratores knowing.

    • Who are the main perpetrators? I am sure it includes Ministers, MPs and senior cadres. We know what goes on at Parliament Motel. That is where Chagwa should concentrate. Nevertheless, the road to hell is also paved with good intentions!

    • @Spaka like lilo,
      I think you should have put this statement in capital letter so that the people who criticize you and think you are just a UPND cadre would see it, contrary to what they think of you, your comments are always objective.
      You have shown you support good ideas, the fact that you are always on the other side, its because of lack of good ideas/strategies from PF government.

  18. I rarely agree with the President and his PF Party’s policies, BUT on this one they are right and they have my full support. After all, compulsory testing has been the policy in antenatal care for pregnant women for many, many years now. Why should your wife undergo compulsory testing whenever she is pregnant and you want to be spared? Compulsory testing in pregnant women has prevented HIV transmission to hundreds of thousands of our newly born children over the years and has saved their lives from HIV. Let us all rise and support this policy, for the good of everybody including yourself. If you are so scared, start using condoms so that the time you get tested you will be very likely test negative.

    • This is understandable for pregnant women because unborn children are involved and their life has to be protected but for an individual like me who is not feeling too well and goes to the clinic only to be subjected to a mandatory HIV test is not fair. Now we will be dying like chickens from fear of going to the hospital just to avoid an HIV test.HIV symptoms are not a secret, they easily manifest themselves. So every person is able to know when to go for a test as the symptoms show

  19. Mr. President, u and your prosecutors
    U failed to prosecute HH and now u want to trouble poor people who voted for u.

    Test pregnant women and everyone prepared psychologically. Stop bullying people.

    What are those fake Church leaders doing? Why are they quiet? They only talk about politics? Shame!

  20. No destination to this people are not blind to follow anything, why not making compulsory going to church,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  21. But honestly why forcing people to undergo this test in the name of promoting good health. Anyway lets wait and see how far.


  22. Policy making is not just about shouting out a decree from the roof top.A large part of the policy is implementation.Are the overworked and under paid nurses/counselors going to have time and motivation to test every patient that comes? Do we have proper data security to guarantee the test results will be secure?Do we have enough trained counselors?Are patients guaranteed a constant supply of ARV’s for the rest of their lives. Do we have an adequate supply of HIV test kits not just now but forever? Mr.President told just issue decrees like a dictator with threats but engage the various stakeholders and I’m not referring to your cabinet who don’t represent the people.Engage the people who will be directly affected.It’s not a fight ,just make people understand without threats.


  24. This is the arrogance that puts some PF die hard like us off. What make the PF cabinet think that when one know that he/she is HIV positive will stop sleeping around. If any thing, he/she may even stop protecting himself/herself. Please HH, come to the rescue of the people of Zambia….you are our only hope

  25. No politician should go outside Zambia to seek treatment. If we see you go to India or South Africa, we hastily conclude that you are fearing to be tested.

  26. But if he was serious with his pronouncement, why did he carry out an Blood Pressure (BP) test instead of HIV. As a global champion of the HIV/AIDS fight, he should have carried out the test and if he wanted, even gone public with the results. Chiwamila galu?!!!

  27. Why not make it mandatory for everyone to have access to good education. Mandatory to have clean water. Mandatory to have selfless leaders. Mandatory for everyone to participate in making our economy get back on course. Mandatory for our leaders to stop corruption. Mandatory to have good health facilities across the nation. Mandatory that the resources of this nation are share equally to all the provinces. Mandatory that we have no third term for presidents. Mandatory that the law givers are good examples. Mandatory that we eradicate poverty which is tied with hiv in a way…the list can go on. You have only chosen HIV ….are you looking for consolation? Twishibane? We are all affected.

  28. People please sober up… The mandatory test is good… You see, the issue is: If you are found positive, you will be put on treatment so that you do not infect someone who is negative,,, simple. They will not put a mark on you to say you have hiv… It will be your responsibility to take the medication… Some of you are going round infecting others without knowing that you are HIV positive until you get sick… Please this is a good idea,, do not politicize it… It is for the good of your children and children’s children to come… I support it totally.. I am going there now for testing and mudulidwe (MC) though I feel good and health. I may be carrying it and that my jonny jonny is active and don’t like condoms…LOL. Bye…

  29. There is a lot of work to be done in this nation of hiv eradication is just one of them. So while we emphasize on this issue let us not pay a blind eye on other equally important issues that need Governments attention for instance excessive spending of govt resources on unnecessary allowances with sacrifice from our leaders who are the beneficiaries.

  30. Your Excellency President E C Lungu,
    On this matter, you may mean well and I know you do, but in a Democracy all matters of such nature need to pass through the people’s parliament after members of parliament have had enough interaction with the the they represent. Now that we have at least grade 12s as members of the house, this kind of communication shouldn’t be very difficult, but the people need awareness first.
    Cabinet should only bring this as a Bill to parliament and that is respect for democracy.
    You have all the time to modify this noble matter your excellency.
    God bless you!


  32. The Medical Charter is being abrogated here.A patient has a right to say ”no” if he or she is not satisfied with medical attention he or she is subjected to.The president is being dictatorial not to listen to what people are saying.If rights of people were subjected to a referendum,why not subjecting health rights to debate?Cabinet has no moral right to decide over 13 million plus peoples’ rights to health.It will create apathy which will result in people not accessing better health attention.People are not supposed to be treated like animals which base their thinking capacity on instincts.Human being have got rights which are not supposed to be trodden upon.It is against Medical Charter to force people to have mandatory HIV testing.

  33. Dying in the name of human rights!!! i dont know. disciplining a child is child abuse!! i dont know. I think we should push for confidentiality and availability of drugs not against this landmark decision.

  34. In his usual he wants to dictate to Zambia because he believes we are his children what a Shameful dictator. No sir you are not protecting me you are actually violeting my rught stop it.

  35. @ Mbalusa to whose benefit will it be for a patient to be tested for HIV???.And don’t cheat yourself that the majority are not behind this policy so you only want our people to tested when there are in fatal condition??.

  36. As usual President Lungu misses the point. The point is not people being worried about compulsory tests being confidential. It is about the state mandating medical procedures. Today’s government decided that it is in the national interest to get everyone tested. What’s next, compulsory circumcision? Compulsory vaccination? Compulsory birth control?

    And at the core of it is this: national HIV prevalence statistics in Zambia are bogus. They are fraudulent. So to base policy on this corrupt statistical data, is a massive waste of natural resources on top of a massive violation of human and civil rights.

    The government needs to create a commission to look into the soundness of the statistics that national policy is supposed to be based on.

  37. His excellence Edgar C. Lungu should in this regard set himself as a model example by involuntarily going for the same HIV test and in the interest of the public let his results be known without allowing room for speculations. It’s not every decision that must be contested in our courts should one not agree, moreover, every citizen is well aware that our judicial system is crippled and is in the government has way too much nose in it’s operations, so why waste precious time going there???

  38. The President is not saying people should reveal their status after being tested or should be tested in public…no no no… He is saying it should be mandatory whenever one visits hospital for being ill… Pray that you don’t get sick or else… mandatory!! chapwa.

  39. Everyone seeking a VISA to go USA is tested for HIV.
    Every pregnant woman in smart countries undergoes HIV testing

  40. I fully remember when the government consulted the people over leaving the ICC. The stakeholders including the skinholders said its a waste of time and resources to take their views. Now when you are not consulted you get upset. Hmmm!

  41. The two UN agencies stressed that Zambia has adapted the WHO Consolidated guidelines on HIV testing services (HTS) in line with the key principles of Consent, Confidentiality, Counselling, Correct Test Results and connection to HIV prevention, treatment and care (the 5Cs principles).

    Its clear that the government does not read what it signs for. Here its clear the key word is “CONSENT”. I am not sure if in the government’s wisdom “MANDATORY” and “CONSENT ” mean the same thing. If the answer is YES let me know where these leaders went to school or better still for them if the meanings have changed ever since PF came into power.
    Do we really need to go to court to understand that the meanings of these two words are different. What a disaster with PF in power!

  42. @ Nsokolo you lie you do not require an HIV test to get a USA visa, please stop misleading the public. Give another reason.

    • @47 Mzee Hekima, in the nineties (90s), it was a requirement to have HIV test to get a USA visa. Nsokolo may belong to that era, he is not lying. There is a Private surgery in Ndola where they went for the test, for those on the copperbelt. I don’t know if it has been stopped now.

  43. Is it a right for me to refuse blood transfusion? is it a right for me to demand some information from government.
    Lawyers should educate all of us.

  44. Good policy ECL. Being a principled leader you are, please you and your cabinet start the public testing first then we follow.
    Are foreigners visiting Zambia be tested too?

  45. But honestly, who advises Ukwa Badluck Jonathan Edger before he opens his mouth? He just finished dragging us into mud by slapping HH is the most treason charge and it had to take a very pretty Baroness Scotland to come and tell the i.diot what to do!

  46. Is there capacity by the authorities to do the counselling at all age groups? There are kids who are in schools and cannot handle the stigmatization.

  47. I wish Edger Lungu could start with himself (though some people claim to know his HIV status), announce the result publicly and order his ministers to do the same (those are his people, not me). That way his followers who follow him blindly will naturally troop to the nearest clinics to have the test. After all, they have followed him blindly all along and they will do it just because their master has done it.

  48. THE arrogance by mr lungu ,on the concerns by citizens is disheartening. how can a president, treat his people like this, you wake up the next day and announces forceful HIV testing such controversial polices
    are the worst mistake
    FOR your information mr president ARVS are not drugs that you can publicly say will cure HIV by 2030 these drugs are highly toxic in human bodies and by taking them for life they induce a lot of damage to critical human organs such as liver damage which could compromise intake of drugs .
    ARVS kill human cells in the bone murrow thereby rendering human defences cells dead thereby inviting more deseases to invade the body. ARVS CAUSES CANCERS they are highly carcinogenic

  49. Speaking up should always be encouraged. Let people be heard all the time, anywhere, by anyone. it is called political participation and very important for democracy. No intimidation, it is a serious crime.

  50. I understand that prevention is better than cure. What of cases who have been given wrong results and who is there to stand for them?
    During the career as Public health nurse, I have received a case that was diagnosed as positive back home. But before the treatment continuation, we had several tests taken and still showed negative. It’s really heart breaking. So is Mr President ready to take such cases of wrong diagnosis to court?

  51. I understand that prevention is better than cure. What of cases who have been given wrong results and who is there to stand for them?
    During the career as Public health nurse, I have received a case that was diagnosed as positive back home. But before the treatment continuation, we had several tests taken and still showed negative. It’s really heart breaking. So is Mr President ready to take such cases of wrong diagnosis?

    And what of the nutritional issues? strong medications without proper nutrition intake..
    Muleipaya more

  52. You can be HIV positive for many years without exhibiting symptoms and spread it without ever visiting a clinic or hospital. That’s how its spread in majority of cases, how is testing only people presenting to hospitals going to fix that? You wanna abuse peoples rights at least do it properly and test everyone in offices an schools etc, also in parliament and government ministries. Total nonsense.

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