The Traditional Medical Practitioners Council (TMPC) says it has registered over 30,000 traditional and faith healers in Zimabbwe. But it continues to get reports of illegal witch hunters popularly known as tsikamtandas.

TMPC’s senior licensing officer Jennifer Mawuzhendi said despite people coming forward to regularise their operations, cases of witch hunters in the habit of extorting livestock from desperate villagers were not abetting. “It is sad that there has been an escalation of witch hunters, most of them operating without licences,” she said.

“Some of them are just ignorant on the registration issue while others operate deliberately without licences.”

“This has prompted those who have been all along operating legally to start reneging to register or to renew their licences.”

Mawuzhendi urged all the unregistered healers to follow proper procedures and get licences to avoid problems. “What we want is for everyone to be registered,” she said.

“The whole year registration is $25 while licence renewal is $15. “We do not just register the traditional or faith healers without verification. “For a traditional healer to be registered we need his or her trainer, or a letter from the kraal head. For the faith healer we need a letter from his or her pastor, mentor, bishop or a church leader as proof that the person is a true healer.”

Mawuzhendi said the council had 35 monitors who regularly visited all parts of the country to ensure that its registered members followed the law.