Members of Parliament in Malawi have returned the condoms donated by the Aids Health Foundation amid claims that 10,000 condoms are dispensed every month at the National Assembly.
According to local media reports, the Aids Health Foundation donated 206,000 condoms on Tuesday.
According to a report in the independent newspaper The Nation, parliament’s health and wellness committee chairperson Maggie Chinsinga received the donation and said they dispense 10,000 condoms every month.
News websites reported that her remarks that 10,000 condoms were used every month by members of parliament and visitors who access toilets at the parliamentary building where the condoms were placed irked MPs, who argued that people would think they go to parliament for sex.
Legislator Joy Chitsulo said that claims that the 193 MPs get three condoms a day each would affect female MPs because there would be a perception that the legislators were in parliament for sex.
“We don’t need condoms. If we want sex, we can buy. We are not here for sex, we are here to represent the people and bring development to the people out there,” a news website quoted her as saying on Wednesday.
Parliament resolved that the condoms should be returned immediately.
Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo, returning the condoms, said as legislators they do not want condoms, but what they want are face masks.
He said MPs could afford to buy condoms when they want because they have money and the condoms should be donated to people who could not afford them.
According to UNAids, in Malawi one million people were living with HIV in 2018.
There was progress in the number of Aids-related deaths since 2010, with a 55% drop from 29,000 deaths to 13,000. The number of new HIV infections also decreased, from 55,000 to 38,000 in the same period.