ZNNP+ is the first network of PLHIV in Africa that led to the birth of other networks in the region. The organisation was established in 1992 and registered in 1999 (PVO 2/99), the network is a national umbrella body whose mandate is to represent and coordinate the interests of networks and support groups of PLHIV, with a membership of over 50 000 PLHIV. The organization operates in all the ten provinces and 65 districts of the country, with vibrant advocacy structures at ward, district, provincial and national level.
The History of ZNNP+
In 1992 an International AIDS Conferences was held In Germany to try respond to HIV/AIDS. The Conference was coordinated by the International AIDS Society. By then in Zimbabwe very few people were openly living with HIV and AIDS. Among the few were Ronnie Mutimusukwa, Auxilia Chimusoro and Maxwell Mudariki. The trio attended this International Conference supported by the National AIDS Coordinating Programme (NACP) which was under the Ministry of Health headed by Dr Everisto Marowa the current NAC board Chairman.
When the three returned from the conference they convened a feedback meeting for a few people they knew were living with HIV and AIDS. The meeting with support from the NACP was held in May 1992 at the Holiday INN in Harare. This meeting gave birth to ZNNP+ initially named the Association of AIDS Affected Resource Persons (AAARP). In principle this was the first congress of the network. The main objective of this association was to give AIDS a human face. This was at a time when stigma was at its peak and people living or suspected to be infected by AIDS were ostrasized by society.
The first Executive committee for the network elected at that meeting was as follows;
Ronnie Mutimusakwa Chairperson
Auxilia Chimusoro Vice Chairperson
Tonderai Chiduku Secretary ( The only surviving founder member )
Farai Manyika Vice Secretary
Maxwell Mudariki Treasurer
Juliet Mutimusakwa ( The wife of Ronnie but an activist in her own right. )
The second congress of The Association of AIDS Affected Resource Persons was held in Mutare in 1993 at the Diocesan conference center. This was followed by the 3rd AGM which was held in Bulawayo in 1995. It was during the preparations of the 4th AGM to be held in Gweru that the then sitting NEC resolved to change the name of the network to ZNNP+. The resolution to change the name to ZNNP+ was adopted at the Gweru AGM in 1997. The 5th AGM was held in Gokomere in 1998 assisted by NAC.
It was at the Gokomere AGM that a motion to register ZNNP+ as a PVO was adopted. The 6th AGM was held in Chinhoi in 1998. Then came the AGM that set back ZNNP+ for years. This was the 7th ZNNP+ AGM held at Bradley Institute in Mashonaland Central in 2000.
ZNNP+ continues to be a very functional and influential organisation which continues to work and advocate for the rights and interests of People Living with HIV in Zimbabwe.