A self-professed prophet in Zimbabwe claimed to have discovered the cure for HIV, AIDS, cancer and other diseases, Newsweek reports.
“God has given me a revelation. We tested it and it’s perfect. God showed me a certain tree and certain people. We have found the cure for HIV and AIDS,” Walter Magaya, the leader of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries group, told his congregants.
Magaya appeared certain enough of his discovery that he founded a company to advertise and deliver the so-called medicine. Police arrested him and he appeared in court to face charges of fraud—but in a surprising turn, the court released him and even gave him permission to launch clinical trials of his drug.
When police first raided his production facility, they reportedly found some of the drugs singed by fire, suggesting that he’d tried to burn the evidence. Other products were found in the toilet.
Ahead of the trials, the preacher took back his assertion that the drug could cure the deadly diseases, but held out hope that the trials would reveal some use for his concoction.
“According to what the ministry has assured us, we are going to run very intense trials until they have come up with a position on the plant,” he said.
The World Health Organization was clear on the drug, telling reporters that there is “no cure for HIV, although antiretroviral treatment can control the virus, meaning that people with HIV can live long and healthy lives.”