Victim recounts encounter with Jammeh during HIV/Aids herbal treatment

Jul 23, 2020, 10:34 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

An anonymous witness, who appeared before the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) recently narrated how he was diagnosed with the HIV/AIDS and his subsequent encounters with former president Yahya Jammeh while administering his alternative treatment in 2007.

The witness recalled that he was first diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul, adding that his bride was sick and as he took her to RVTH, she was diagnosed with the virus and that was how he was also diagnosed.

The anonymous witness claimed he had his first treatment at the RVTH with conventional medicines.

Explaining further how he got to know about the Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme, he stated that he heard the announcement on radio and television when the ex-president claimed to have found a cure for the virus causing HIV/Aids.

"It was later I met Dr. Mbowe at the hospital in Banjul and I asked him to help me join the treatment. I also asked him whether it is true that Jammeh can cure the virus and he replied in the positive. The first day Jammeh called us to drink his concoction, he asked us to stop taking conventional medicines."

The witness further informed the commission that at the time he went to register for the treatment programme, he met 100 other people, who were there to register for the same treatment programme.

He revealed that they were admitted at the then uncompleted Kanifing hospital and was usually guarded by personnel of the Police Intervention Unit to avoid patients attempting to escape.

"The first time we went to State House to drink the concoction, he gave us one called local Chakery and it was mixed by his brother- Ansumanneh Jammeh. There were also other concoctions called Jinneh, Omo and Kubejarra. They used to call us to undress naked and they will massage us as well."

He also testified that Jammeh told them to recite La-illaha illalah Muhammadan Rasulu-Allah as he administered the concoctions on their faces.

While on the treatment for a year and half, the witness claimed that Jammeh threatened them that if anybody started his treatment and left, he would send his soldiers to get them wherever they are.

"People came from different parts of the world for the treatment but they later left the treatment. I was not cured and I am still sick as am speaking. Some people died and one Guinean-UK based, Saudi woman and others were part of it."

On his health condition before starting the Presidential Alternative Treatment Programmes, the witness claimed that he was in good health. 

"After the treatment I became paralyzed because I couldn't move my body to any angle".

The witness attributed his inability to move his body to the bad food and concoctions that he drank while under the treatment.

"I was later discharged and told that I was cured but it was a lie. Both Yahya Jammeh and Dr. Mbowe lied to people for having a cure for HIV/AIDS. I am now paying D1250 for my medicines and life is very difficult with me."

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