Zimbabwe traditional healers are wallowing in abject poverty and have attributed their problems to meagre income.
They say their plight is further aggravated by low business as they continue to lose their clients to the emerging Pentecostal churches.
Pentecostal churches which of late have drawn the attention of many people are said to have attracted quite a number of people living the traditional healers running out of business.
A traditional healer based in Gweru, Edward Kamwendo in an interview, said that for the past twenty years he has been working as herbalist but till today he is renting a house.
“It is painful that for all the years I have not managed to get a house of my own because the money we get from the patients is very little. At times we render our services free of charge because some patients cannot afford to pay us.
“Being herbalist is my job and I want to have a good living just like others who are working as nurses or lawyers,” said Kamwendo.
Herbalist Alikanjelo Banda, a registered member of Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) who is also registered under the Traditional Medical Practitioners Council, Chapter 27:14 (1996) has been appealing for assistance in the form of a stand or an office he can operate from.
“The problem is that I am always commuting between Kadoma, Kwekwe and Chiundura among other places, hence current and prospective patients are losing out my services as I am always travelling visiting my patients.”
The Malawian born herbalist said he applied for a stand at Redcliff Municipality, but three years down the line there is no response.
Asked on why he is not buying the stand himself, he argued that meagre income would not be sufficient to make such an undertaking.
Banda says he is a specialist of heart ailments such asthma.
Grace Murehwa, who attends to a Pentecostal church, had this to say, “Going to traditional healers costs money unlike to these emerging churches with powerful man of God, it’s cheap because the man of God just lay his hand on you and your problems would be solved.”