Prophets, pastors, traditionalists and faith healers will soon be banned from working without a practising certificate from the Traditional Medical Practitioners Council, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr Aldrin Musiiwa has said.
He said the Health Ministry had written to church leaders who are known to perform “miracles” telling them to register with the TMPC.
Dr Musiiwa said a recent survey by the ministry showed that 85 percent of Zimbabweans consulted prophets and traditional healers.
“If any one of the faith healers, whether pastors or traditional healers, refuses to comply with the directive, (Health) Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa will be left with no option but to ban all faith healing,” he said.
“We are not saying churches should register with us but all those who are into faith healing are required by the law to register.”
Dr Musiiwa explained that although freedom of worship was enshrined in the Constitution, healing has to go through the Health Ministry.
“The custodian of all health issues is the Minister of Health and Child Care. Miracle healing is a physical medical reaction and the intended effect is healing of an ailment. So the argument here is the form of therapy used or applied by the doctor or the preacher or Man of God.
“In medicine, it is the empirical evidence from a diagnosis that determines the treatment and that fact is globally accepted and legally binding in Zimbabwe.
“When it comes to spiritual healing, it is a subjective dogmatic speculation based on faith than empirical evidence or substantive physiological manipulation. Those who don’t want to register know that whatever they are is fake. It is the duty of the Minister of Health to protect the public from abuse by psychological manipulative man of the cloth.”
Dr Musiiwa said it was wrong for people to associate faith healers with “witchdoctors”.
“When people say traditional food or traditional dresses are they implying that it belongs to n’ángas? No! TMPC is the only arm of Government that allows faiths healers (prophets, apostles, bishops, pastors and n’ángas (witchdoctors) to heal people),” he said.
“Some churches with departments of midwifery particularly within apostolic sets must register with TMPC.”
TMPC board chair Sekuru Friday Chisanyu said the registration of all healers would weed out bogus faith healers.
“When they are prescribing anointing water, bangles and wrist bands without registering, that’s illegal,” he said.
He said those who resisted registration should face prosecution.
Reverend Wyson Duth, the president of Grace International Churches and Ministries, an umbrella body of evangelical and pentecostal churches, said some faith healers were manipulating people for material gain.
“These so called prophets are taking the job of registered n’angas and medical doctors. They should just register,” said Rev Dutch.
However, Body of Christ Ministries International leader Prophet Gamuchirai Sande said it was difficult to separate healing from worship.
“When Jesus was here on Earth he could heal people as part of His mission, so as Christians who are called by His name we should walk as He walked. There is no need for healing registration,” he said. state media