By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
28 May 2014
Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede’s weekend rant against the use of contraceptives has angered many Zimbabweans, with HIV/AIDS activists calling it ‘dangerous’.
Mudede made the remarks on Sunday during an address at the Family of God Church in Kambuzuma, Harare. He said contraceptives were a “ploy by powerful nations to retard population growth in Africa thereby weakening the nations.”
He also said contraceptives were “conduits for diseases,” such as cancer, and questioned how Zimbabwean society could thrive if it was actively preventing the growth of the population.
“You want to be a super power, but you do not want to multiply,” he said.
His comments have sparked an outcry from many, particularly from activists campaigning for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Emmanuel Gasa, the Executive Director of The AIDs and Arts Foundation in Zimbabwe (TAAF Zimbabwe) said Wednesday that Mudede’s comments were dangerous and politicised.
“These vagabonds in power do not care. He is a political (placement) and his comments are not appropriate,” Gasa told SW Radio Africa.
He appealed for “intervention”, saying the government has proven it does not care enough to take the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic seriously.
“The government knows that people need treatment. It knows this is an emergency. But it is not serious and they do not care,” Gasa said.
The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, meanwhile was quoted as saying this week that his ministry would always advocate for the use of contraceptives in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The minister said the HIV prevalence rate had also decreased drastically from about 29 percent to 13 percent as a result of condom use.
“We advocate for condom and contraceptive use to our people. If one fails to abstain, to be faithful to one partner, he or she should use a condom correctly and continuously,” he said.