ONE of the first clerics to televise his HIV status in Zimbabwe Reverend Maxwell Kapachawo, on Tuesday, slated his pastoral counterparts for misleading their congregants by claiming they have HIV/AIDS cure.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
This blasting comes barely a month after PHD Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya’s proclamation during a Sunday Church Service that he had found a cure for the disease.
Speaking at the launch of the 2018 to 2019 World Aids Campaign Theme and Logo by National Aids Council of Zimbabwe, the vocal priest took a swipe at church leaders who defraud their followers with such claims.
“Even in our places of worship it’s so pathetic. Where religious leaders are supposed to be leading from the front but are leading from the back and killing our fellows. It’s so bad especially when a diluted message is coming from a man of the cloth.Really with all the influence we have over our congregants, it becomes poison,” he said.
He called on policy makers to protect HIV positive people from what he called, “marauding hyenas.”
“We beg of you our mothers and fathers here, as you go and proceed on our policies of health, please protect our sector from marauding hyenas. Protect our sector. All we need are our ARVs. What we have are ARVs. Nothing more, ARVs.
“We wonder when people say they don’t see miracles on HIV yet someone standing in front of you is a miracle. I have often asked my fellow comrades in the religious circles if they prayed for healing or for cure at the bedside of somebody with HIV,” he said.
He said such proclamations of healing HIV derail the Zimbabwe’s fight against HIV.
“We have reversed the gains that the country has done. Sometimes with our bad mouthing. We have made a lot of people default on their treatment which is not good news,” Rev Kapachawo said. The clergyman also said there is no cure for HIV but only ARVs which have helped them manage their health.
“As far HIV/AIDS is concerned in the sector of people living with HIV to which I am one of them, only ARVs had played the magic. Only ARVs had made us to be what we are. The benefits of knowing that status at early stage has always made life very easy to live with very positive results,” he said.
He also bemoaned the stigma which prevails in society especially when HIV positive people mention the word status. Rev Kapachawo also called on policy makers to involve them when coming up in policies that involve HIV positive people.
He also mentioned the need to have an electronic database for people living with HIV.
Rev Kapachawo is on record chiding pastors not to sway people from the truth through HIV Cure claims.
Last month, Prophet Magaya made sensational claims that he dreamt of an HIV Cure he dubbed Aguma. This was met with wide criticisms from all sectors including Government, World Health Organisation, US Embassy in Harare, as well as medical related groups. The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe said they have not received the medicines for registration.
Amidst all these criticisms was a silver lining where his congregants staunchly defended this cure.