World Health Organization condemns `AIDS curing preacher' in Zimbabwe

Dep Minister Mutodi

The Zimbabwean police on Wednesday raided the offices of a religious leader who claimed to have found a cure for HIV, AIDS and cancer.

The charge sheet read in court yesterday alleged that the popular preacher had destroyed some of the exhibits by flashing his herbs down the toilet and burning their containers.

A court has heard of a desperate scramble to destroy evidence before police swooped on Walter Magaya's office in Harare to seize unlicenced medicines he meant to sell as an HIV cure.

Magaya was remanded out of custody to November 26.

The World Health Organization in the wake of the claims by the prophet said there is "no cure" for HIV.

He further made claims on Aretha medical website (www.arethamedical.com) and that Aretha medical and himself were the manufacturers of the Aguma medicine which he claimed can cure above mentioned diseases. "I carry a very important apology to the ministry, to the public at large and all organisations".

The raid comes a few days after the preacher told multitudes of followers at his church on Sunday that he had found a cure for HIV/AIDS and cancer. Having carried the research outside the country (in India), I went on to announce the results unprocedurally.

"Relevant authorities are urgently looking into the claims".

Magaya appeared briefly before the Harare magistrates court before he was released on $300 bail, the report said.

However, while speaking on the matter, Dr Alex Gasaira, WHO's representative in the country, explicitly stated that "there is no cure for HIV infection".

Moyo urged HIV patients in Zimbabwe to continue taking their ARV medication because Magaya's "cure" is untested.

However, local health authorities and world bodies, including the World Health Organisation, dismissed his claim. The country has been making strides in its fight against HIV/Aids despite the current economic turmoil which health experts say has hit the operations of most of the country's major hospitals, including the procurement of essential drugs for people living with the pandemic.

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