Vee in P1.3m circumcision deal - allegations

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*Ministry of Health cagey with details
*Vee: This is a noble initiative

The Ministry of Health spokesman Themba Sibanda yesterday claimed ignorance as to whether they paid P1.3 million to kwaito kwasa star Vee wa Mampela for the on-going Safe Male Circumcision campaign spearheaded by the star.

Vee is the face of the Ministry of Health's Safe Male Circumcision drive that seeks to have half a million men circumcised to reduce the HIV/AIDS infection. Vee appears on billboards, newspaper adverts and television commercials as the face of the Safe Male Circumcision drive.

Sibanda referred further enquiries to Vee saying the issue of contract is personal.  When asked to say if it is true that the tender for the job was never floated, Sibanda said he does not know much about that yet, saying he would have to check with the relevant department. Yesterday Vee refused to discuss the payout but said people should focus on the impact of his  campaigns rather than how much he is being paid as the issue is rather sensitive.

Vee said people should realise that his passion for male circumcision goes as far back as 2011 when he was  appointed southern African ambassador for Safe Male Circumcision along with Olivier Mtukudzi and Winky D of Zimbabwe. Vee narrated how the trio recorded a song, shot a video and launched the safe male circumcision initiative in Ethiopia  last year.

Vee said the road to being given the tender to be paid to be the face of the Safe Male Circumcision in Botswana was not easy as he had to volunteer his services freely for sometime before he was eventually endorsed by the Ministry of Health.

Vee claims that he has already done 15 campaigns in Gaborone alone, resulting in high number of men turning up for circumcisions at clinics. This week he is in Francistown where he says he will camp until the clinics are overflowing with men queuing for circumcision.

He says he has already been to 30 towns and villages, not including Gaborone. However, the Botswana Musicians union President  Alfred  Mosimanegape says  the musicians union is not aware that the Safe Male Circumcision campaigns are being paid for, or how much they are being rewarded for. He said BOMU would approach the  Ministry of Health with the view to spreading the campaign wide to include a number of other local musicians, whom he described as struggling in the market.

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