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GAMBIA: Witness claims Jammeh lied about HIV/AIDS treatment

The TRRC protected witness who yesterday testified  alleged that former President Yahya Jammeh had lied about his claims of HIV/AIDS treatment.

Narrating his testimony, he said he was diagnosed with HIV 1 and 2 at Fajikunda Health Centre and he usually received ARB medicines.

Explaining how he got to know about Jammeh’s Alternative Treatment, he said that he heard Jammeh saying he could cure HIV on television and that was how he got hope and joined the 5th batch of patients.

He told the commission that he also heard Fatou Jatta and colleagues who claimed that they were cured; adding that’s what motivated him to believe Jammeh’s treatment.

“We usually took our treatments at Serrekunda Hospital. Dr. Mbowe, Ansumanneh Jammeh and others were there to help Yahya Jammeh. Whenever it was time to take our concoction, Yahya Jammeh used to give us a cup filled with concoction. We sometimes received our treatments at Serrekunda, Banjul or even Kanilai.”

He continued that the concoctions they normally received were called ‘chakery’, ‘omo’ and ‘Jinneh’. He added that none of those concoctions was good for human consumption.

“After consuming those concoctions, I started to suffer a lot. Before Yahya Jammeh’s treatment, I was healthy and if one told me I was sick, I wouldn’t believe it.”

The anonymous witness told the commission that Yahya Jammeh had no idea of how to treat people with HIA/AIDS, saying his claims were fake.

He said many people stated that they were cured through the alternative treatment but that was not true.

“Jammeh lied because he promised to cure HIV/AIDS for two weeks and we were kept for six months without cure. As we were there, all our businesses were delayed and we were not able to feed our families. We were like people kept in custody.”

The witness further testified that people came from different regions in Africa just to be cured.

“Many people thought that we had the virus through playing with women. That is not the case because only God can determine who will get the virus.”

He told the commission that he was declared virus free in a ceremony held at Kanilai, saying he became seriously sick after the claimed treatment.

“My wife is also living with the virus and we are having problems with our living conditions.
— the POINT