Controversial prophet, who claimed to have found HIV cure, apologises

A controversial Zimbabwean prophet who claimed to have developed a cure for HIV and Aids and sold a lipstick that he claimed helped improve blood pressure has apologised, saying he was overwhelmed by excitement, according to a report.

Walter Magaya, who heads the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries, said on Sunday he and Indian counterparts had developed the herbal remedy named Aguma to cure HIV and Aids. 

But in a statement on Monday the health ministry said: "Herbal medicines now require approval by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and the product has not yet been submitted for review and assessment."

Magaya announced after a church service in Harare that the drug was a supplement that could boost immunity and cure HIV, according the state-run Herald.

"I have tested Aguma fully on human beings and in 14 days they have been cured," Magaya was quoted as saying.

A BBC report has indicated that the herbs that were now at the centre of a police investigation were already selling online for at least $1 000 a pack.

No clinical trials

The young charismatic prophet rose to prominence during the southern African nation's economic decline as he promised his followers miracle healing and money.

Magaya has also developed a lipstick that he claims improves blood pressure, said the report.

But, according to NewsDay, following pressure from government and civil society groups, Magaya has apologised and said Aguma had not yet been tested on human beings.

Magaya said he was willing to have the drug tested by the government.

"I will wait for the tests to be done to ascertain that it is safe for human beings and that indeed it has properties that can cure HIV and Aids. I have not sold any bottle up to now. I clearly said I will wait for my government. I have been offered money by other governments to take my discovery to them, but I am still here saying I'm willing to go through the clinical trials in accordance with the correct procedures," Magaya was quoted as saying.

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