Zimbabwe medical authorities should invoke laws and put a stop to dangerous behaviours by those making claims regarding medicines without proper authorisation, a leading University of Kent academic and constitutional law expert Dr Alex Magaisa has said.
Dr Magaisa made the remarks following a national outrage because of growing concerns about the way prophets influence attitudes towards the public amid a rise in false and misleading claims allegations.
On Sunday 28 October PHD Church leader Walter Magaya told his Waterfalls church that God had given him a dream in which he was shown the tree from which he extracted the HIV cure with the help of an Indian pharmaceutical firm.
His claims sparked worldwide debate on the subject prompting Government of Zimbabwe and medical bodies to dismiss him after he advised people on HIV treatment to stop taking their medication.
Dr Brighton Chireka, a leading commentator on Health matters then reignited the debate on Tuesday urging Magaya not to jump the gun and dicing with people’s lives.
This attracted Dr Magaisa’s attention saying:
“If a person masquerades as a lawyer, the law comes down heavily on them. Likewise the law does not allow anyone to make claims regarding medicines without proper authorisation. It’s a process and there are good, solid reasons for those procedures. The laws are designed to protect members of the public. The Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act is an important piece of legislation in this regard. It prohibits the publication of information that is false and misleading regarding any medicine. If authorities are serious they should invoke these laws and put a stop to this dangerous behaviour. It’s not the first time it has happened and it won’t be the last unless authorities come down heavily and lawfully on such irresponsible conduct”
Magaya , has made claims like this in the past.
In September 2014 there were reports that Prophet Magaya had ‘cured’ an HIV positive woman, Miriam Chari, through prayer and anointing oil, alleging that she tested HIV positive in 2007 had been rid of the virus through prayer.
“While at the guesthouse she was laid hands upon by God’s servant Prophet W. Magaya and believed she had received her healing,” the story stated.
“She wasted no time when she checked out of the guesthouse, she went straight to get an HIV test done on her and surely her faith made her well.
“No trace of HIV was found in her blood…(his) incredible anointing oil has vanquished every ounce of the troublesome virus from her body.”
Documentary evidence which showed an HIV positive result and CD4 count was shown, and a new test showing an HIV negative result.
However, both documents did not have any names written on them (so they could as well belong to two different people).
In 2016, state run Manica post reported that Magaya insisted that, people infected with HIV can be cured through the Holy Spirit.
“Let’s say you have HIV, cancer or whichever infection, if I release the anointing tonight you can go and get tested again.
“Let every infection lose you tonight. Let cancer lose you. Let HIV lose you,” said the PHD leader.
Zimbabwe currently has an estimated 1.2 million people receiving anti-retroviral treatment.