Tanzania: ‘Dr’ Mwaka, Four Other Herbalists Challenge State Decision

Five herbalists, including Mwaka Juma Mwaka alias 'Dr Mwaka,' Abdullah Mandai, Simon Risigwa, Fadhir Kabujanja and John Lupimo, have challenged in the High Court, the government's decision to deregister them as alternative medical practitioners and their herbal clinics.

They have filed an application against three respondents, the Traditional and Alternative Health Practices Council, Permanent Secretary, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and Attorney General, seeking for leave to sue the government on the matter.

Judge Ama Munisi was yesterday set to hear the application in question. However, the session was pushed forward to tomorrow following a move by the Attorney General (AG) to present two grounds of objections for the dismissal of the herbalists' case.

In the grounds of objections, the AG alleges that the herbalists, who are the applicants, have not exhausted all other channels available before resorting to High Court action and that the affidavit lodged to support the application in question was "incurably defective".

Through Dr Lucas Charles Kamanija, the applicants have advanced several grounds to fault the government's decision, notably acting under utra vires or illegality, being biased or discriminational, irrational or unreasonableness and violation of the right to a fair hearing.

According to the statement filed to support the application, the applicants are seeking for 'orders of certiorari' to remove into the court and quash the purported decision of the council's allegations against them contained in summons dated June 14 and 20.

They are applying for orders of certiorari to remove into the court and quash the allegations and purported decisions by the ministry against them, which cancelled their registrations, their aids and herbal clinics.

The applicants are further seeking for 'orders of mandamus' to compel and direct the respondents to act in accordance with the law, challenging an order for prohibition and to restrain them from illegally harassing the applicants and interfering with their alternative medicineherbology practices.

The development comes following an order for Mwaka's arrest given by the ministry's Deputy Minister, Dr Khamis Kigwangalla, after an impromptu visit at the herbalist's clinic located at Ilala in the city.

Mwaka is accused of providing services to people even after his clinic, Foreplan Clinic, was deregistered on July 11, this year, by the Traditional and Alternative Health Practices Council (TAHPC) for violating its regulations and guidelines.

Following the ban on the clinic, Mwaka is reported to have remained defiant by changing the name of the treatment centre from Foreplan Clinic to Foreplan Tanzania Limited and continued to offer services and promote the same through television and radio programmes.

Source: Tanzania Daily News