KIGALI - A Jehovah’s Witnesses of God believer has said that the religion has not rejected the ongoing anti-malaria spraying campaign as recent field reports from the spraying teams said. The Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) teams indicated in their recent reports that they had got stiff resistance from Jehovah’s Witnesses’ believers and prostitutes in Sodoma, Gatsata, Muhima and Tetero. The field reports, quoted by the State Minister in-charge of HIV/Aids and other Infectious Diseases Dr Innocent Nyaruhirira, stated that Jehovah followers had claimed that spraying (ICON pesticide) contradicts their faith doctrines.
But on Monday a Jehovah believer, Eugene Ruranga, dismissed the reports and asserted that they (Witness of God) don’t have any problems with the anti-malaria spraying campaign.
“We understand the benefits of the Indoor Residual Spraying, we support it and those who might have rejected, it was out of ignorance,” Ruranga said in an interview at Kanombe Airport.
She went on: “Jehovah Witnesses follow the advice of their leaders and the Bible; they have never told us about rejecting malaria spraying; if anyone rejected it, it had nothing to do with our faith.
We don’t support prostitution and have always encouraged prostitutes to leave their bad ways, how can we then share a common view on such important national issue.”
She said Jehovah’s Witnesses have ‘always preached good news against bad practices in society’, adding that anti-malaria spraying is one of the best practices they support. Despite Ruranga’s reaction, there hasn’t been an official reaction from the Jehovah’s Witnesses of God’s leaders.
When The New Times sought an official comment from them last week, the religious leaders shied away.
Some of the legal advisors of the Jehovah Witnesses who preferred anonymity claimed that their houses were sprayed and they cannot tell their fellow believers to reject the exercise.
The US government is funding the pilot spraying campaign through the Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) in the three Kigali City districts with the highest malaria prevalence. The districts are Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro.
It will next year be extended to Kirehe District in Eastern Province and Nyanza District of the Southern Province.