Call to Move Aids Council
March 19, 2003
Posted to the web March 19, 2003
Members demanded to know why the
National Aids Control Council operated under the office of the
The MPs said the council, formed to
spearhead the fight against HIV/Aids, should be removed from
the OP and placed under the Ministry of Health, where they
said it belongs.
Mr Abdi Tari Sasura (Saku, Kanu) asked
what skills the OP had to deal with Aids, while Dr Ali
Abdulahi (Wajir North, Kanu) described the office as a
bottomless pit that had swallowed all crucial government
Speaker Francis Kaparo said the matter
was serious and asked the Government to clear it.
"Do you have doctors at the OP?
" he asked.
Dr Chris Murungaru, a minister of State
in the Office of the President, promised a comprehensive
answer on Thursday, describing the role the office plays in
the fight against the disease.
Earlier, the MPs had demanded to be told
why a few top officials of the National Aids Control Council
earned a total of Sh63 million a year.
The MPs said there was no justification
for the huge pay while the fight against Aids in the country
was far from being won.
An attempt by assistant minister Stephen
Tarus, to convince members that the officials deserved the pay
because of the important work they did, was met with numerous
points of order.
Mr Tarus said the salaries of the
officials in the council had been increased to attract the
best professionals in the field.
He said the issue of Aids could not be
tackled by one ministry.
Mr Paul Muite (Kabete, Safina) asked why
constituencies never received funds from the Aids Control
He said MPs were being unfairly accused
by the electorate that they received the money and kept it.
Mr Tarus said the National Aids Control
had so far received Sh1.269 billion from donors since 1992 to
fight the disease.
The money had been spent well, he said,
adding that the Aids prevalence rate within the 15-24 years
age bracket had fallen by 14 per cent in 2000, 13 per cent in
2001 and 10.2 per cent last year.
The minister was answering a question
from Mr Sasura who sought to know how much money the National
Aids Control Council had received from donors in the last four
He also asked the minister to table a
list showing how the funds were disbursed, and the impact of
the council on anti-Aids campaigns.
Reports by Njeri Rugene, Odhiambo Orlale
and Muriithi Muriuki