Police arrested 35-year-old Prophet Walter Magaya of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries in November 2018 and seized an herbal drug which he claims could cure people of HIV and Aids. He was today handed a fine of $700 after pleading guilty to contravening the Medicines Control Act.
Magaya told his congregation in October that the drug, named ‘aguma’, has magical powers to destroy the Aids virus within 14 days. “As you continue to take the aguma, you start to see your CD4 count disappearing until you become HIV negative.”
He also tweeted a short declaration on October 29 which said: “We have discovered the cure for cancer and HIV.”
Reports indicate that a pack of his ‘all-powerful’ pills were selling for $1000 online while Magaya’s newly launched lipstick he claimed could improve blood pressure is also popular among his followers.
Zimbabwe Information Minister dismissed Magaya’s claims at a press briefing shortly before he was raided. “Magaya’s herb has not gone through any regulations, that the Secretary of Health is aware of, people should continue taking their medications which have been proved to be effective.’’
“Relevant authorities are urgently looking into the claims. Herbal medicines now go through approval by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and this product has not been submitted for review.
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.