Zimbabwean HIV/Aids activists reacted positively Friday to news that the National Aids Council has been removed as principal recipient of grants from the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, that role to be assumed by the U.N. Development Program.
VOA was unable to reach the Global Fund on Friday to obtain clarification of the reasons for the decision – the agency was closed in observation of Good Friday.
But it is believed the decision was related to the diversion by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last year of US$7 million in Global Fund monies, which were later returned though not before heavy international pressure was brought to bear in an incident embarrassing for Harare.
The National Aids Council's board is appointed by the Zimbabwean government.
Former National Aids Council board member Frenk Guni, now technical director for HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases with Management Systems International, a Washington consulting firm, told VOA reporter Patience Rusere that the change will make the disbursement of funds more transparent.