The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Mozambique has claimed that some European-made condoms and anti-retroviral drugs are deliberately infected with HIV.

The Archbishop of Maputo, Francisco Chimoio, made his remarks at celebrations to mark 33 years of Mozambique’s independence.

Talking to a BBC reporter, the Archbishop Chimoio said: “Condoms are not sure because I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the virus on purpose.”

Refusing to name the countries, he added: “They want to finish with the African people. This is the programme.

“They want to colonise until up to now. If we are not careful we will finish in one century’s time.”

Instead, he suggested traditional Catholic values of marriage, fidelity and sexual abstinence would halt the spread of the disease.

An estimated 19.2 percent of Mozambique’s 19 million inhabitants are HIV positive and around 500 people are infected every day.

AIDS campaigners called the Archbishops comments ‘nonsense’ and defended the use of contraception.

“We’ve been using condoms for years now, and we still find them safe,” well-known activist Marcella Mahanjane told the BBC.

“People must use condoms as it’s a safe way of having sex without catching AIDS,” added Gabe Judas, who runs Tchivirika (Hard Work), a theatre group that promotes HIV/Aids awareness.

The Catholic Church is well-respected in Mozambique for its prominent role in sponsoring the 1992 peace treaty which ended 16 years of civil war.

17.5 percent of Mozambicans are Roman Catholic.