Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh has been accused of rubbing the genitals of HIV/Aids patients that underwent his treatment programme while serving as the country’s head of state. The alleged ‘treatment’ has resulted to the death of several patients some of whom have died during and after the presidential treatment programme but was kept from the public.
The first unidentified witness to testify at the TRRC after the Commission resumes its public hearings on Monday, lamented over his predicaments at the ‘Presidential Aids Treatment Programme’ of the former President Yahya Jammeh.
“I was the first person who was escorted to the glass house where I found the former President Yahya Jammeh sitting with some doctors and nurses at State House in Banjul. The President filled a cup of concoctions and told me to drink. I was asked to remove my clothes and laid down with a towel and the President put on gloves to apply black medicines on my body and rubbing my private parts,” the unidentified witness stated.
The witness who was a former MRC staff claimed to have contracted the HIV/Aids disease from one of the African countries in 1998 and later returned to the Gambia where he became the first person to publicly declare his status in 2000. He was part of the first group of patients that received ‘treatment’ from the former President.
“We were told the President could cure us,” he said.
He adduced that they were admitted at the Serrekunda General Hospital in a prison like conditions where they were denied family visits, food from outside, coffee, green tea etc. He had suffered from diarrhea for three months which he claimed the former President has celebrated.
“Close to 4, 000 people have died from HIV/Aids in The Gambia but I cannot confirmed whether they all underwent presidential treatment programme,” he posited.
According to the witness, the former President Yahya Jammeh’s treatment programme has created multiple problems and difficulties for the HIV/Aids patients as the institutions that were helping them had left the country with their machines. He added that several patients who were under the presidential treatment programme have managed to escape.
“I was not cured and did not know anyone who was cured by the President’s treatment programme,” he remarked.