BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya was yesterday convicted by a Harare magistrate and fined $700 for illegally publicising his new-found HIV and Aids drug without following due process.
Magaya, who pleaded guilty to contravening section 40 (1) of the Medicine and Allied Substances Control Act on behalf of his company Aretha Medical, told Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa that he was still confident that his Aguma drug had the capacity to cure HIV and Aids after passing Indian medical laboratory tests.
Through his lawyer, Everson Chatambudza, the PHD Ministries leader was ordered to pay the fine by Friday or risk losing his property.
Magaya told the court that he just pleaded guilty to the offence in order not to waste the court’s time although he was convinced that he would have won the case had he insisted on going to full trial.
He said prior to his arrest late last year, he had written to the Health ministry and its secretary Gerald Gwinji advising them of his medical breakthrough, but did not get a response.
The two letters to the ministry were submitted in court as exhibits. He also submitted other documents purportedly showing that the drug had passed laboratory tests.
“There was an attempt to comply with the law. The accused wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health and the permanent secretary of Health Brigadier Gerald Gwinji. He wanted the ministry to announce the discovery to the whole world, but he did not get any response,” Chatambudza said.
“This is a law-abiding company that wants to follow the procedure of this country, but there was no response from the government. The laboratory tests were actually conducted in India and the tests indicated that the discovery was actually true.
“The case is a technical fact whereby the accused only skipped the protocols otherwise the word that there is a discovery still stands.”
Prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa told the court that by illegally publicising his unapproved drug on October 31 last year, Magaya committed a serious offence which could have misled many people into stopping using their anti-retroviral drugs.