Justice and Legal Affairs deputy minister Obert Gutu yesterday said local traditional healers are set to be economically empowered following Parliament’s recent ratification of the Madrid Protocol on the International Registration of Marks.
In an interview with NewsDay, Gutu said previously, traditional healing knowledge was not protected by law and their trademarks not registered internationally.
The Madrid Protocol on the International Registration of Marks was ratified last Thursday by the House of Assembly.
“Cabinet on its seventh meeting held on March 5, 2013 approved the accession by Zimbabwe to the protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks,” said Gutu yesterday.
“This is very important in that even herbal knowledge by traditional healers will now be protected and most of them can become millionaires as their trademarks can now be registered internationally.”
Gutu said it was not surprising that some of the modern medical remedies might be knowledge stolen from traditional healers who were previously not protected by law.