Traditional Medicine Council of Africa (TMCA) team leader Steve Chester Katsonga says his council in worried with the ban the High Court issued on Wednesday stopping herbalists from operating in the country.
Katsonga expressed the sentiments on Friday in Zomba, saying the court rushed in banning the herbalists without consulting the council to express its position over the ongoing infringements of the birthrights of the persons with albinism.
He said their council is a continental registered entity and in Malawi it is registered under International Traditional Medicine Council of Malawi (ITMCM) which founding president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda signed on August 2 1988.
Katsonga said in 2007 former president Bingu wa Mutharika seconded him to the council’s presidency for Africa.
He said government registered their council to complement hospitals in the curing of patients as well as conducting research on vegetation that can be used in the treatment of various diseases.
Katsonga said the council feels ‘oppressed’ as it has been banned without trial despite its legal existence in the country as well as grieves over the ‘defamation’ of being connected to the malpractice.
Last week, the High Court in Mzuzu granted the injunction on the basis that, among others, herbalists are fuelling the attacks on individuals with albinism as well as making false claims, thereby duping the public.
The sued parties are traditional doctors Masamba Asiyana Mwale and Apite Apitana Chiwaya in their personal capacities and representing a class of all traditional healers, witchdoctors, charm producers, distributors and fortune tellers in the country.
Media houses Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) are second and third defendants, respectively, for carrying adverts that attract people to visit the traditional doctors (the first defendants); hence, assisting them to achieve their goals.
In granting the injunction, High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise said any person who disobeys the order shall be guilty of contempt of court and may be imprisoned, fined or have their assets seized.