Errant religious leaders, who are fleecing Zimbabweans of their hard-earned money, claiming to possess spiritual powers to heal infectious diseases, will soon face prosecution, Health and Child Care deputy minister Aldrin Musiiwa has said.
Speaking at a media briefing on the registration of churches and faith healers yesterday, Musiiwa said the Constitution grants freedom of worship, but does not make provisions for freedom of healing.
He said, as such, religious characters should come out in the open and register with the ministry, if at all their healing powers were empirical.
“There are various mushrooming churches that are purely premised on healing sessions, and healing in this country is regulated, meaning that they must be regulated,” Musiiwa said.
The deputy minister urged members of the public to be wary of fake miracle pastors, who denounce medical consultations and warned that those, who were unregistered, would soon face prosecution for their deeds.
“You can’t just start healing from nowhere when you are not registered, you need a certificate for the healing practice and failure to do so is soon going to lead to prosecution,” he said.
“It is criminal to tell people that they have been healed of Aids when, in fact, you have not done any medical test to prove this.”
Founder of Tehillar Christian Network, Sam Malunga said churches have to be regulated to allow for spiritual healing practices to complement medical healing practices through close monitoring.
“The people, who are practising faith healing, must be identified and known so that they can be accountable because these days there is exaggeration of such by some pseudo-prophets and bogus clerics,” he said.
According to the Health ministry, 85% of Zimbabweans visit faith healers, citing the worsening socio-economic situation, as the main driver leading them to resort to dubious spiritual healing.