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Faith healers risk prosecution

Government has threatened to prosecute traditional and faith healers who instruct people living with HIV to stop taking anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).

by VENERANDA LANGA

Responding to a question by Gokwe MP Dorothy Mhangami (Zanu PF) in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Health and Child Care deputy minister Aldrin Musiiwa said traditional and faith healers who mislead people about the treatment of HIV were hampering efforts to control the spread of the disease.

“At present there is no cure for HIV and if there are traditional and faith healers that claim a cure, it is malpractice and they must be prosecuted,” Musiiwa said.

“Such practices are done by bogus healers that are not registered by the Traditional Medicines Council. We now have a Statutory Instrument that will prosecute traditional healers that advise patients on ARVs to refrain from medicines.”

He said to date 400 traditional healers had been educated on the need for people living with HIV to continue taking their medication.

Meanwhile, MPs demanded that Energy minister Samuel Undenge issue a ministerial statement on why he had formed a second company, Genesis, to compete in the petroleum trade with Petrotrade, when they are both under the National Oil Company (Noic).

Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) said they smelt a rat and corruption because in business practice it was unethical to form two subsidiaries competing in trade of the same product.

Sibanda also demanded to know why Petrotrade had remained without a board since 2015.

“Competition is healthy when you have a lot of actors competing in the same segment. However, there has been a discussion to merge Noic and Petrotrade,” Undenge said.

But, Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) said what Undenge had done was unethical. Zvimba East MP Ziyambi Ziyambi (Zanu PF) said the formation of Genesis would result in Noic having two additional unnecessary boards.

Lost for words to explain the situation, Undenge demanded that Sibanda must put his question in writing.

But, Sibanda retorted that the Energy minister must bring a ministerial statement regarding the issue as it signalled that something improper was taking place at the parastatals under Undenge’s ministry.

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