Hundreds of worshippers dying… as churches replace HIV med with Holy water
Hundreds of worshippers from different churches are dying of HIV/Aids-related illnesses as their churches discourage them from taking anti-retroviral drugs and other related medication.
Apostolic and Pentecostal churches with their origins in West African countries now based in Zimbabwe have been cited as the major culprits.
This sad story came to the fore during the recent burial of Tambudzai Mazvihwa (not real name) of Banga Village in Shurugwi.
According to speakers during her burial, she had stopped taking her anti-retroviral medication and developed complications, which later caused her premature death.
“Parents and relatives, I think you are all aware that our daughter here was taking anti-retroviral drugs, but for the past five months she had stopped her medication on instructions from her church elders who had prescribed holy water instead of the pills. It is the holy water that has caused her death. Had she continued with her treatment, she would be living up to this day,” said an elderly headman during her burial.
Only a few villagers attended the burial and members of her church did not attend for fear of being beaten up for having caused her demise.
As men shovelled red gravel onto her grave, some spoke in low tones condemning the acts of her church.