In November last year, police arrested Walter Magaya and seized the said herbal medicine he claimed was capable of curing the dreaded HIV/AIDS.

Reports say when he was arraigned, the popular man of God pleaded guilty to contravening the Medicines Control Act by selling an unapproved drug.

Prior to his arrest last year, he had reportedly told his congregation that the said concoction named Aguma, had magical powers to destroy the AIDS virus within 14 days, a claim the Zimbabwean authorities said was criminal, hence his arrest.

Pastor convicted for falsely claiming to have herbal cure for HIV/AIDS
Pastor convicted for falsely claiming to have herbal cure for HIV/AIDS

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The 35-year-old Walter is quoted as having told the church: “The herb is 100% organic. Why I say so is because we found out that there are no side effects.”

According to the charge sheet, before a search could be conducted by police, the pastor and his men had “destroyed some exhibits by flushing them in the office toilets and burning containers which were, however, recovered half-burnt”.

It added: “Several Aguma sachets and other torn sachets were also recovered in an office bin.”

Meanwhile, Walter’s lawyer, Everson Chatambudza insisted that his client was confident in the efficacy of the controversial herbal concoction.

He however, admitted to the fact that the man of God breached the law by not securing prior approval by the ministry of health, claiming that his client had tried obtaining approval, but the authorities failed to respond to his request.

According to a UN date compiled in 2016, about 1.3 million Zimbabweans were living with HIV, making the country the 6th in sub-Saharan Africa with the highest rate of the virus.

It is understandable how some people including Pastor Walter Magaya may want to take undue advantage of the situation and exploit the naivety of Zimbabweans for their personal gains, thankfully, authorities are cracking down on them.