ONCE celebrated prophet Boniface Muponda, who rose to fame some years back for allegedly treating infertile couples, says it is wrong to solely blame women of infertility as man can equally be culpable.
BY OUR STAFF
In an interview with Standardcommunity recently, Muponda, who is now a traditional healer based in Uzumba in Mashonaland East province, said he sought to debunk the widely-held societal belief that women were solely to blame when a couple fails to have children.
The prophet-cum-herbalist has since set up the Muponda Healing Centre in Mashambanhaka area of Uzumba, which is also his rural home.
“It is common practice that when a couple cannot bear children, society is quick to blame the woman,” he said. “But years in this practice has taught me that it is not gender specific, anyone can have fertility problems.”
His comments came a few days after the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, a global campaign to show that safety from gender violence is a fundamental human right.
The 50-year-old Muponda, who claimed that he attended to at least 80 clients every month, said men who had infertility problems largely experienced a low sperm count.
“There are lots of men who have this problem of low sperm count, at times the quality might even deteriorate over time. I can fix all that and my clients can testify to that,” he claimed.
Muponda made the headlines in the 1990s as people flocked to his Norton home to seek his help in their quest to address their infertility problems.
He was however in 1998 arrested and appeared before the courts facing 16 counts of sodomy and four of assault. His fame plummeted overnight and as the case dragged on, he lost his celebrated status.
When he was finally acquitted, Muponda retreated to his rural home in Uzumba — away from the public glare — where he is practising as a traditional healer.
“I am not ashamed to say that I am a traditional healer because that is what I have always been since 1975,” said Muponda. “I’m a respected member of the Zimbabwe Traditional Healers Association [Zinatha] and actually hold a position in the local branch.”
Muponda was however evasive when Standardcommunity asked him to comment on his much publicised sodomy case.
“I do not like talking about that story, it happened in the past. All I can say is that some close relatives teamed up against me because they were envious of my fame, and made up that story,” he said.
“During the time I was in remand prison, my relatives and a bank manager of a certain bank were busy withdrawing my savings clandestinely.”