By Anesu Madiye
PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya, who recently announced that he has discovered a herb that can cure HIV and Aids, yesterday appeared in court charged with contravening section 40 (1) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act, which criminalises the distribution and misleading advertisement of medicine.
Magaya — who was represented by Admire Rubaya, Everson Chatambudza and Oliva Marwa — appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elisha Singano.
He was released on $300 bail and the matter was remanded to November 29.
It is the State’s case that on October 31, Magaya made an advertisement on Yadah television of Aguma medicine, which he claimed can cure HIV, AIDS, cancer and other ailments.
He further made claims on Aretha Medical website, his company, that Aretha Medical and himself were the manufacturers of the Aguma medicine. Local and international media also published stories based on the advertisement of the Aguma medicine that Magaya had made.
The said website was visited and it was discovered that Magaya claimed that they had conducted clinical trials and proved that Aguma medicine can cure the mentioned diseases.
It was also established that neither Magaya nor Aretha Medical Company were authorised by the Health Professions Authority to carry out clinical tests on any human being to prove that Aguma can cure the aforementioned diseases, which constituted an offence.
On October 31, a warrant of search and seizure was issued at the Harare Provincial Magistrates Court and a search was conducted at number 14 Edinburg Road Marlborough, Harare, where unregistered, prescription preparatory medicines, drug manufacturing, packaging machines and drugs manufacturing raw materials were recovered.
It is alleged that just before the search, Magaya destroyed some of the exhibits by flashing the Aguma in the office toilets and burning the containers, which were however, recovered half burnt.
Several complete Aguma sachets and others that were torn were recovered in an office bin next to the call centre office.
He was arrested on Thursday November 1 at Ministry of Health and Child Care offices where he was conducting a Press conference.