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Tendai Chara
\n“Are you facing financial problems? Are you unhappy in your marriage? Do you want to get promoted at work or get your salary doubled within five days? Stop suffering, wipe your tears now, the strong doctor, Dr Chief Baba Mbela, has solutions to these simple problems.” Lately, such advertisements have become more and more visible in the local Press as “traditional doctors” market themselves – aggressively.

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These self-proclaimed healers claim to possess supernatural powers that facilitate communication with the spirit world and enable them to solve all problems known to mankind.

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Fiction or a con? That is the question.
\nCalling themselves “Dr”, they claim to be able to break cycles of bad luck; compel thieves to return their victims’ goods and solve one’s financial problems in just 24 hours!

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Some claims border on the absurd, though. One “Dr” says he can help people pass examinations with flying colours — even without them having studied!

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Another — a “love line specialist” — boasts about enabling his clients to “attract and then bed any lover of their choice”, and helping bring back a lost love “on the very day no matter the distance”.

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A “Dr” Shumba has it that his “100 percent love oil” can make one more appealing to the opposite sex.
\nOn the other hand, “Dr” Abasha says his science-defying “treatment” can enlarge one’s manhood and also have his clients receive money in their bank accounts “miraculously”.

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The healers’ names are as queer as their trade, too, with monikers like Dr Chief Katete and Dr Kamuzu on the list.
\nLast week, The Sunday Mail went incognito to one healer in Harare’s Kuwadzana suburb.

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The sparsely furnished consultation room-cum-bedroom hardly told the story of a supernatural inhabitant who can make someone rich at the click of his fingers. In a corner were the traditional healer’s few belongings – some clothes here and shoes over there, and empty opaque beer containers.

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First, the “Dr” inquired whether his “client” had brought the US$50 consultation fee.
\nPresented with a fictitious problem, he did not waste time providing a “solution”.
\nYou be the judge of that.

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A resident in the area said, “These are con artistes. Are they telling us that there are no people in their home countries who need their services? They are taking advantage of desperate people whom they are swindling of their hard-earned cash.”

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Sekuru Friday Chisanyu, president of the Zimbabwe National Practitioners’ Association, added: “They are not allowed to do what they are doing. That’s why they are now operating underground as some of their counterparts were deported by the authorities.”
\nIt’s a weird world. But a person has to make a living, right?