Education minister David Coltart has declared distribution of condoms in schools will not take place until government was satisfied with the programme.
On Monday, the National Aids Council (NAC) said it was proposing amendments to a number of laws that could see the distribution of condoms at schools as a way of fighting the HIV/Aids scourge.
In an interview yesterday, Coltart said he has not been approached by NAC on the issue.
“I have heard that there have been such reports, but I have not been approached by NAC on the matter,” he said.
“This is a policy matter and until I have given my approval, such a programme cannot take place.” Coltart said there was need to carry out consultations on the matter.
“This is a matter which will need us to carry out some consultations before implementation,” he said.
“I am actually surprised that this has been brought forward without anyone consulting me as the minister in charge of Education.”
The law which NAC wants amended is the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council Act. It provides for the structure, functions and powers of ZNFPC, which include child spacing and fertility services, promotion and implementation of primary healthcare.
However, NAC wants that Act amended so that, “contraceptives be made readily available in schools . . . stipulating placing of condoms in hotels, nightclubs and lodges”.
The recommendations were made by a consultant hired to review HIV/Aids policies in Zimbabwe with a view of harmonising them.
If the proposals are accepted, Zimbabwe will be following in the footsteps of South Africa, which in 2007 introduced the Children’s Act that gives children who are 12 years and above the right to access contraceptives.
An estimated 1,2 million Zimbabweans, including 145 225 children live with HIV/Aids.
Although the adult prevalence rate has declined to 13, 1%, it still remains one of the highest in the world.