Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health and Child Care on Thursday announced that that it would work with and conduct clinical trials to test the efficacy of Aguma Onco, a herbal supplement which Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries founder Prophet Magaya discovered and claimed was the cure of HIV and Aids and cancer.
The clinical trials will be funded by Prophet Magaya and both his team and several independent institutions and government will conduct them for transparency, while a timeline for release of findings was not given. Addressing journalists during a joint press conference in Harare on Thursday, Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo, said when he returned from Kazakhstan he called for a meeting with Prophet Magaya and the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), the Secretary for Health and their research unit, the national institute of health research.
“We had a very good meeting and were very open with each other with Prophet Magaya. At the end of the day, he apologised for having gone a bit too fast and had not realized his popularity and the impact of his message to the general population of Zimbabwe. Normally you have other prophets who are of a small caliber, who will talk to a small congregation and there will be no distortions to what they say. “He might have been under some form of pressure but naturally he is now back in the fold,” said Dr Moyo.
He said it was not the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s responsibility to thwart anyone’s ideas and discoveries. “We want discoveries in Zimbabwe. We have been using herbal concoctions from other countries. They come here and we accept them. We have so many of them coming from outside Zimbabwe but they are not going through rigorous processes. But for this particular one because it started as a controversial product it is in everyone’s interest that it goes through a through testing process, a rigorous and scientific process so that at the end of the day we can say it was relevant or not,” he added.
He said they would ensure that everything is done in a transparent manner adding Prophet Magaya’s people would be part of the team conducting clinical trials. “Everyone will be checking each other so that we do not come out with any falsification of results. We are an authority, a ministry, we are genuine and will make sure that whatever we do will be in line with laid down laws. “We will ensure the ministry and Prophet Magaya will carry out this clinical trial,” explained Dr Moyo.
He said because of Prophet Magaya’s popularity and the coverage he got from the media his message came out and set some distortions in the system of regulation of medicines in Zimbabwe. “However, he now appreciates that there regulations to be followed which is very good,” said Dr Moyo. He emphasized that people should continue taking their ARV medication.
“Yes he has the claim on the basis of the research which was carried in India but that was in India not in Zimbabwe. For the purposes of registration of a drug in Zimbabwe there are regulations to be followed. I also want everyone to know that he holds a licence, and that is the licence which he was basing on. He has always held that licence and it will give him the opportunity to be able to register his herbal complementary medicine either as an allopathic, which will require clinical trials or alternatively as a complementary medicine which will require MCAZ to advise him of the issues not to be stated on the labels.
That is standard. We are lucky to have all those regulations in place and it is unfortunate that he had not followed the regulations as stipulated in our ACT. He said it is relevant for the ministry to confirm whether Prophet Magaya’s medicines work or do not work. Dr Moyo added that they were grateful that Prophet Magaya came in such a fashion. “He is a man of God and he has agreed that where mistakes are made they have to be corrected, where you have to follow regulations you must follow regulations,” he added.
“This has been an eye opener. You have caused a repercussion of effects. Our clinicians have told us that generally herbs which are not tested and coming out of Zimbabwe have caused some problems and there are records to tell what problems have been caused. “We want to go through the clinical trials to eliminate the medical side effects which are renal shutdown, failure or toxicity affecting the liver.
These are the issues we want to check in this product. However, it has also come to light that there are some products being sold in Zimbabwe coming out of other countries and they haven’t gone through rigorous testing and it now means we will have introduce a new format of approving all these complementary medicines coming out of other countries.” Addressing the media, Prophet Magaya apologized to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the public and all organizations affected by his announcement.
He said after making his findings, he went on to announce what he was carrying in his hands without notifying the authorities of Zimbabwe. “After discovering what I found which was tested in India, holding a report which was overwhelming to myself, I went on to announce what I was carrying in my hands without taking note of the authorities of Zimbabwe.
According to what I have learnt, the authorities of Zimbabwe and all the regulators were supposed to scrutinize, analyse and be satisfied with what I was holding before I prematurely announced. The apology I carry is we rushed to announce what we were carrying without the authorities analyzing it,” said Prophet Magaya.
He saluted the Ministry of Health and Child Care for handling him like a child also confirming that that they had agreed and were working with him 100 percent to come out with a true position in terms of the rules and regulations of Zimbabwe in terms of health and other medicine laws. “I appreciate what the other boards are writing and saying that I must retract, which is what I am doing now,” he said. Prophet Magaya emphasized that when he made the announcement last October 28, he never said that people should stop taking ARVS.
“That is not my side or line to say. One must follow the position of doctors who are professionals. From what the ministry had assured us, we are going to run very intense trials, tests on what I have until they come with a position and it will be declared by authorities,” he added. Prophet Magaya also clarified then issues of the lipstic which has been misinterpreted by many on social media. He said he was not selling the lipstic but just used it as an illustration of some of the products discovered by the Indian researchers he hired for his clinical trials.
Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.
Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”
Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”
The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.
“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.
Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.
Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.
Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.
Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”
In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”
Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.
“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.
Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.
Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.
He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”
Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.
“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.
One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.
A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.
Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.
A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.”
Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.