Add St. Lucia News Online on Whatsapp +1758 712 6700; get major headlines and source us with news tips, photos, and videos

Zimbabwe pastor fined for falsely claiming he had cure for HIV and AIDS

By BBC

 Share This On:

Walter Magaya

(BBC) — A court in Zimbabwe has convicted a popular self-styled prophet of fraud and fined him $700 (£540) for falsely claiming he had a herbal cure for HIV and Aids.

Walter Magaya earlier pleaded guilty to contravening the Medicines Control Act by selling an unapproved drug.

Police arrested him in November, and seized a herbal drug which he said could cure people who had HIV and Aids.

Zimbabwe has the sixth highest HIV prevalence rate in sub-Saharan Africa.

About 1.3 million people were living with HIV, according to UN data compiled in 2016.

The 35-year-old Magaya is among a group of young, brash and flashy religious figures who have emerged during Zimbabwe’s economic crisis, attracting a huge number of followers with promises of miracle healing and miracle money, says the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka in the capital, Harare.

He told his congregation in October that the drug, named aguma, had magical powers to destroy the Aids virus within 14 days, the privately owned New Zimbabwe reported at the time.

“The herb is 100% organic. Why I say so is because we found out that there are no side effects,” he was quoted as saying.

The government branded his claim as criminal, and police raided his offices.

The charge sheet said that just before the search, Magaya and others “destroyed some of the exhibits by flushing them in the office toilets and burning containers which were, however, recovered half-burnt”.

“Several aguma sachets and other torn sachets were also recovered in an office bin,” the charge sheet added.

The pastor’s lawyer, Everson Chatambudza, told the court that Magaya believed the drug was authentic but admitted breaching the law by distributing it without the health ministry’s approval, the state-run Herald newspaper reported.

Magaya attempted to comply with the law by notifying the ministry of the drug, but he did not get any response, Mr Chatambudza was quoted as saying.

Magaya had also launched a lipstick last year which he claimed could improve blood pressure.

(0)(2)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.