Prophet Austin Liabunya has made outrageous claims that his miracle oil has healed a person of HIV – a claim that is likely to land him in trouble with the law.
Liabunya, a Malawian prophet who leads ‘Believers Gospel Embassy Int’l’ based in South Africa, released the ‘Money Magnet Oil’ last week and urged people to buy.
In a Facebook post on February 23, he claimed that people were buying the oils as they are “tired of being poor and broke!”.
He also claimed that the oils are imported from Israel and are then Anointed by God through him at a Prayer Mountain.
Two days later, he posted testimonies from people whom he said had used the oils and one of the posts was about a person claiming they had been cured of HIV.
“HIV Negative after using ‘Money Magnet Oil’ testimonies from people who are using the Oil keep coming from around the world,” Liabunya wrote on his page.
He also shared pictures of a rapid test indicating a negative result.
Commenters were quick to point out that a rapid test is not very reliable for a person who is already positive.
“No ways…rapid test for a viral suppressed client result imaoneka (comes out) negative…should go for DNA-PCR,” one commenter said.
Many condemned Liabunya for the claims and warned him against discouraging his church members from taking antiretroviral drugs.
“This is how people come to the hospital in late stages of HIV/AIDS. We have seen people going down this road. Aphunzitseni anthu (teach people about) about God. Even if they die or not, they should remain in Him,” said a commenter.
Another added: “Stop taking advantage of desperate people who comes to your church. You won’t be cheap if you encourage members of your church who are HIV positive to take their medicine correctly.”
In Malawi, it is a crime to proclaim, utter, publish misleading, false or inaccurate information concerning HIV and AIDS to any other person or the public.
According to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Management) Act enacted in 2018, a person who commits such an offence shall be liable, upon conviction, to a fine of K5,000,000 and imprisonment for five years.
UNAIDS statistics for 2020 indicate that Malawi has about 990 000 people living with HIV.