HEALTH and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa yesterday shot down Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's suggestions urging the populace to shun contraceptives.
Parirenyatwa also defended his position that condoms should be placed in Bibles and distributed in churches.
Parirenyatwa told parliamentarians that contrary to Mudede's assertions, his ministry encouraged the use of contraceptives such as condoms as a birth control measure and to curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections and HIV.
"My ministry encourages correct and consistent use of condoms to protect from sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, as well as that they are useful in family planning and spacing," Parirenyatwa said.
"We reiterate that condoms have been part of prevention efforts for HIV whose rates have now declined partly due to consistent use of condoms."
Mudede stirred heated debate recently when he castigated contraceptives describing them as a health risk and part of the Western world's tools to reduce Africa's population growth.
On condoms, he said: "Yes, indeed, I am on record as advocating for placing of condoms in Bibles in the context of them being placed inside hotel Bibles.
"We find a lot of people stay at hotels and sometimes they find the need to use condoms, but are embarrassed to ask for them from the hotel reception. I suggested as a strategy at hotels [that] condoms must be placed inside the Bible."
He also disclosed that 33,4% of cancer patients suffered from cervical cancer, adding that about 1 500 out of 1 800 women diagnosed with cancer died each year.
He said the ministry had intensified cancer screening and prevention in all provinces.
Meanwhile, Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) yesterday demanded to know why members of the Independent Media Panel of Inquiry were paid handsomely while Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings employees had their salaries cut.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Tongai Muzenda asked him to put his question in writing.