On grounds of supplying the AIDS drugs to the poor in Zimbabwe without the administration of a pharmacist or proper licences, five Americans, including two doctors, two nurses and an organizer, were arrested on Thursday.
The incident also involved a Zimbabwean doctor who worked with the Americans, who also has been arrested. The Americans had carried along with them a four-month supply of antiretroviral drugs for about 800 people with AIDS.
As told by convicts’ lawyer, Jonathan Samukange, they were kept in prison at Harare Central police station on Saturday in pathetic conditions, as they failed to complete the paper work for the bail hearing that was held the same day. On Monday, they will be heard by a magistrate.
The convicted Americans are the members of the Allen Temple Baptist Church AIDS Ministry in Oakland, Calif, the church that for three or four time a year, serves poor people with AIDS of Zimbabwe by providing them antiretroviral medicine, vitamins, clothing and food baskets.
Arnold Perkins, the retired public health director in Alameda County, Calif., stated that he had visited Zimbabwe six times to serve AIDS patient that had benefitted their health, but the arrest of the crew had broken his heart.
He said, “If this work stops, it’s a human tragedy. People will die. That’s a fact”.