By Robert Tapfumaneyi
AS the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hit the country with record infections and deaths being recorded, some desperate locals have resorted to using Bute in the hope the traditional snuff contained healing properties against coronavirus.
The snuff is now scarce in many places while prices have gone up due to high demand as some Covid-19 survivors have reportedly been sharing testimonies that it stimulated sneezing and consequent clearing of blocked nostrils.
But in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Monday, Raymond Munonoki, a traditional healer based in Mufakose, Harare said this was caused by citizens who were becoming desperate to heal from the virus hence turning to anything in the hope of staying alive.
He said this was being worsened by some unscrupulous individuals who were taking advantage of the situation to try and make easy money while Covid-19 tormented citizens.
“There is no known evidence that bute cures coronavirus symptom. I understand people are in desperate times and are up to anything to survive,” says Sekuru Shumba, as he is affectionately known.
“What I have seen is some people are also pushing the bute story to make a quick buck.”
However, herbalist Never Chirimo, who is based in Kuwadzana high-density suburb in Harare, said he was in the process of making his own concoction to cure Covid-19 symptoms using bute, adding that soon it will be available to his clients.
“Bute may not cure Covid-19 but I am currently in the process of making my own concoction which I will mix with bute and I have faith that it will help in the fight against the spread and cure of coronavirus symptoms,” Chirimo said.
But well-known traditional healer Sekuru Banda warned that taking too much bute could cause cancer.
“People must be warned about the dangers of taking too much bute. It can cause more harm and one may end up with cancer.
“Yes, it can be used to treat various aliments but in small doses as it is also additive,” he said.
In a statement last week, health minister and acting president Constantino Chiwenga said his ministry’s traditional medicines department was pre-occupied with researches in this area.
“Some traditional doctors were said to claiming that their patients recovered after administering herbs, my comment would be that you might be aware that some modern medicines are actually derived from traditional herbs.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care actually operationalized the Traditional Medicines Department, which is pre-occupied with researches in this area.”
Recently, Zumbani, which has a strong balsamic citrus-like scent and Moringa which are believed to treat coronavirus, has been selling like hot cakes in the streets.