HEALTH and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa yesterday warned prophets against encouraging people with terminal diseases such as Aids to stop taking drugs in favour of the so-called holy water or oil.
Parirenyatwa issued the warning in Senate while urging Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi to come up with legal instruments to curb the practice as it could result in many deaths.
“It is a very bad practice that prophets and churches are saying they can cure people with holy water or oil,” he said.
“We know that the HIV virus cannot be removed through prayer and that it needs medicines.
“Even medicines do not cure HIV, but they only suppress the multiplication of the virus. That is why one needs to take ARVs (anti-retroviral drugs) for life.”
He said it was high time the government criminalised the activities by prophets.
“It is good to pray when a person is sick, but prayer needs to be complemented by medicines, otherwise if people are told to stop taking medicines we might experience many deaths,” Parirenyatwa said.
Prophetic Healing Deliverance Ministries fronted by Walter Magaya and Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church have of late been coming up with branded “holy oil” to cure various ailments.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said police would strengthen their patrols at bars to stop under-aged people from patronising the places. Ziyambi was responding to a question by Zanu PF senator for Manicaland, Judith Mawire, who said many youths under the age of 18 were breaking the law by accessing beer at pubs.
“Parents should assist the police by monitoring their children to ensure they desist from drinking,” he said.
Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services deputy minister Win Mlambo said his ministry would soon announce an ICT policy to prevent crime using mobile phones and other ICT gadgets.
He was responding to a question by Zanu PF Mashonaland Central senator Damian Mumvuri who wanted to know measures the government was taking to protect mobile phone users from messages which purported people had won prizes.
“Those messages force people to engage in a lot of conversations using phones and they need to be investigated,” he said.