The Zimbabwe Traditional Healers’ Association (ZINATHA) says it will soon open pharmacies for selling traditional medicine to counter the sale of Chinese herbs and some from unregistered local n’angas.
ZINATHA secretary for education, Peter Sibanda, says his organization is not happy with the public sale of some traditional medicine and Chinese herbs in local markets.
Sibanda says they are losing a lot in potential revenue due to the sale of these cheap products.
He claims that some of the medicine on sale is fake and dangerous to Zimbabweans, adding that police and local authorities should remove all traditional vendors from the streets.
Another ZINATHA member, Constance Makomo, says Zimbabweans should buy traditional medicine from its registered members.
But some Harare residents strongly believe that the majority of those selling traditional medicine on the streets are ZINATHA agents.
Local vendor, Primrose Murombo, says she is selling traditional medicine on behalf of a Mutare-based traditional healer she only identified as Sekuru Maparanyanga.
TRADITIONAL MEDICINE LAW
Murombo, who operates at the corner of Samora Machel Avenue and Harare Street, says it is untrue that they are selling fake medicine. She is registered under the Traditional Medicines Practitioners Act.
Another registered vendor, Nyasha Kadingire, who operates on the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Fifth Street, says most of them are registered and pay levies to the local authority.
The two, however, believe that there are some unregistered and untrained vendors operating in Harare and other parts of the country.
According to Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa, his ministry values alternative medicines and has a department that ensures that people are protected from dangerous medicine.
A group of ZINATHA members once operated pharmacies in places like Highfield and the city’s central business district.
Herbalists and all those who sell traditional medicine as well as faith healers are supposed to be registered in terms of the Traditional Medical Practitioners Act.
In 2010, the parliamentary health committee recommended that government should create guidelines on traditional medicines research, manufacturing and distribution in order to complement conventional medicine.
The committee noted at that time that 80 percent of the population used traditional medicines. There are more 45,000 traditional healers in Zimbabwe.