10 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Makandiwa, Angel Face Arrest

Photo: Facebook/Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa
Zimbabwe famous Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa.

Prominent prophets such as United Family International Church's Emmanuel Makandiwa and Uebert Angel Mudzanire of Spirit Embassy International face arrest for operating outside the Traditional Medical Practitioners Council Act.

The Act entitles all traditional healers and prophets to register with the Zimbabwe Traditional Medical Practitioners' Association.

All traditional healers, prophets, faith healers and spirit mediums in Zimbabwe claiming to have healing powers should register with the council.

All those in breach of the law face a maximum two-year jail sentence.

Church representatives yesterday said it was impossible to classify prophets in the same bracket with traditional leaders.

However, a Harare-based lawyer Mr Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys said it was possible for Government to prosecute the unregistered prophets.

ZTMPA president Mr Friday Chisanyu yesterday said the council had since engaged the Zimbabwe Republic Police to arrest all unregistered prophets.

"In Zimbabwe the law is clear on operations of all prophets and traditional healers that they must be registered under the Traditional Medical Practitioners Council established by an Act of Parliament.

"So we have through its Professional Ethics, Vetting and Registration and Disciplinary committee engaged the police to arrest all prophets including Makandiwa and Angel who are operating, but have not registered, as stipulated by the Traditional Medical Practitioners Council Act," he said.

Mr Chisanyu said it was the TMPA's mandate to register, control, regulate and promote the activities of traditional medicines in Zimbabwe.

They are also mandated to uproot improper and disgraceful conduct committed by some faith healers and prophets.

"It has come to our attention that some unscrupulous prophets and traditional healers were engaging in criminal activities around the country that have left trails of disaster such as broken families, loss of herds of livestock and even deaths," he said.

Mr Chisanyu appealed to the public to help the police and TMPA to ensure that they deal with registered and licensed prophets or traditional practitioners.

There are about 500 registered prophets and traditional healers in Zimbabwe while the rest are operating illegally.

However, church leaders yesterday dismissed reports that they should be registered in the same brackets as traditional healers.

Prophet Angel is reportedly in the United Kingdom but a pastor in the Spirit Embassy International dismissed the reports.

"My comment is that the Prophet (Angel) is out of the country but we are not registered because we cannot be classified in the same bracket as n'angas," he said. Mudzanire's Facebook profile describes him as a pastor, prophet, church founder, and general overseer of Spirit Embassy Ministries.

He claims his name has become synonymous with miracles, signs, wonders and accurate prophecies.

He also claims that his prophetic gift often reveals people's names, addresses and some pertinent information on the lives of members of the community.

UFIC's Pastor Chikuni could neither confirm nor deny whether their leader was registered with the association.

"I cannot comment, you need to talk to Pastor Kufa . . . unfortunately he is the only spokesperson for the ministry," he said.

Pastor Prime Kufa's phone went unanswered yesterday.

Mr Bhatasara said: "There are so many levels at, which you can consider it. The first one is that the definition of practice of traditional medical practitioners.

"If you look at Section (2) of the Traditional Medical Practitioners Council Act, the interpretation says the object of, which is to treat, identify, analyse, diagnose

without the application of operative surgery any ailment of body or mind by traditional methods.

"It appears that these prophets fit into this definition."

He said prophets do not use operative surgery and what only differed were the "traditional" methods.

"The biggest question is whether the use of water, stones or sticks that they use are traditional methods. The only difference is that a spirit medium, n'anga or traditional healer probably uses the belief of ancestors so on, but prophets lead to God as well, they go through Jesus, in Christianity and so on, but in terms of practising they use the same methods of analysing and diagnosing," he said.

Mr Bhatasara said the only exception is where you use operative equipment like doctors who are covered under the Health Council Act. "So I think these people can be charged, but probably if they have a smart lawyer their methods are not traditional methods," he said.

According to the Act, an unregistered person commits an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine if he or she practises or carries on business for gain as a traditional medical practitioner, whether or not purporting to be registered; pretends, or by any means whatsoever holds himself or herself out to be a registered traditional medical practitioner; or uses the title "Registered Traditional Medical Practitioner" or any name, title, description, or symbol indicating or calculated to lead persons to infer that he or she is registered as a traditional medical practitioner.

Falsely claiming to be a registered spirit medium constitutes a similar offence.

The association has the authority to make by-laws to define "improper and disgraceful conduct" in the case of registered traditional medical practitioners.

A registered practitioner who is found guilty of such conduct or who is grossly incompetent is liable to disciplinary measures, which include cancellation or temporary suspension of registration.

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