Zim Drops Charges Against US Doctors

The five – two doctors, two nurses and an organiser – were arrested in Harare two weeks ago at Ranch House College, sparking a media frenzy locally, regionally and interantionally.

“Charges against them were dropped before plea,” said prominent lawyer Jonathan Samkange, who represented the Americans.

The State accused the American health workers of dispensing AIDS drugs without supervision of a pharmacist or proper licences, chargers flatly denied by Samkanga who said they had right licences.

Before their arrest, the US health workers had been working in Zimbabwe for many years on HIV/AIDs projects and were even given a farm to operate from in Mutoko at a place now known as Mother Faith Mission.

They had a lot of patients, most of whom were AIDS orphans. They also operated an AIDS clinic in Hatfield in Harare.

The Americans belong to the Allen Temple Baptist Church AIDS Ministry in Oakland, California. The church serves a predominantly African-American congregation. Three or four times a year since 2000, members have paid their own way to Zimbabwe to give antiretroviral medicine, vitamins, clothing and food baskets to impoverished people with AIDS.