ARMY SPOKESMAN Maj. Shaban Bantariza has revealed that the UPDF has been giving LRA commanders anti-retroviral drugs.
This may be well meaning but it is misguided. Yes, the army should maintain contacts with Kony commanders in the hope that they renounce rebellion and take advantage of the amnesty. Give them food, clothes, medicines or whatever is needed to build trust with them.
But it is crazy to give them anti-retroviral drugs for HIV. These drugs are only effective when taken at precise regular times in quantities determined by well-equipped clinics and laboratories. If this strict procedure is not followed, they will not work.
To make matters worse, the indisciplined use of anti-retrovirals helps the HIV virus mutate and become drug resistant. Anti-retroviral drugs can end up by becoming ineffective like chloroquine that no longer cures malaria.
The army is putting at risk the lives of millions of HIV-positive Ugandans and Africans by dishing out anti-retroviral drugs in this haphazard manner.