Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499
MBONA, Michael. Mission in turbulent waters: AIDS-related care and mitigation by the Roman Catholic Church in Manicaland, Zimbabwe (1985-2007). Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.1. ISSN 2412-4265.
The scourge of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe between 1985 and 2007 was witnessed at a time when the country went through diverse socio-economic challenges. The State reduced budgetary allocation towards the welfare of the citizenry after the introduction of the economic structural adjustment programme in 1991. Further economic decline, witnessed between 1999 and 2007, resulted in the withdrawal of foreign donors. The care of people living with HIV and orphaned and vulnerable children became a burden for non-governmental and faith-based organisations including churches. The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Zimbabwe became instrumental in setting up AIDS-related care intervention projects at diocesan level, including Manicaland. The involvement of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference in the national constitutional reform agenda as part of civic organisations led to souring of relations between the church's leadership and the State and thus affected AIDS-related care projects. This article explores the Roman Catholic Church's AIDS-related care mission in Zimbabwe in general and Manicaland in particular within the context of turbulence waters.