By Staff Reporter THE MOST TOXIC TREE WHICH BECAME A CURE TANZANIANS have been taken in emotions over the miraculous cure being offered by the retired Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) one pastor Ambilikile Mwasapile at an off the road Samunge Village in Loliondo district, Arusha Region. Starting from a humble story and some whispers the miracle treatment at Loliondo has grown like bush fire and outgrown anything else in the local scene. The magical treatment from the pastor has generated a lot of interests, anxiety and controversy over the matter renewed, beliefs, strengthened resolve to find cure for the deadly diseases of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, kidneys and other ailments that have no cure. The modus for treatment as detailed by pastor Mwasapile has baffled a lot of people from its very day due to its simplicity, easy of compliance and cheapness on cost. However, the controversy over the main ingredient of the wonder medicine is the alkaloids from the poison arrow trees known locally as mugariga or lawa in Maasai language. The available literature show that the Poison Arrow Tree or botanically called antiaris toxicana (pictured) is the most poisonous tree in the world. It is alleged that the white liquid on the bark of the tree when touched by animals or humans will cause fatality by paralyzing the respiratory system. They have been used by hunters of South America, Africa and Asia. The ripe fruits are edible. They are sweet with a slightly bitter taste, but should only be eaten when ripe. Otherwise the whole plant is poisonous. Birds have been known to drop dead on sucking nectar from the flowers. It is the plant used to make arrow poison in traditional societies of Mara, Arusha and Singida. How come position to cure ailments? Political push The Miracle cure enthusiasm has baffled the public at large that has forgotten all its lingering real and imagined problems including the declining economy, the electricity power jitters, declining household budgets, political stalemate on presidency and poverty that were initially acknowledged to be the countrys innate issues and the main topic for public discussion have been relegated to afterthoughts. All people now are joining hands to attack real enemies including the diseases that dont have specific cure like cancer, HIV-Aids, diabetes and thus found the pastors intervention as God derived, convenient and current. People were antagonised when the government contemplated to stop the treatment at Samunge when Dr Hadji Mponda the Minister for Health and Social Welfare wanted to take the pastor to account of his activities that were devoid of government authority through licensing mechanism and approvals by the powerful Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) that proved no match to the peoples power that wanted the services to continue with vim, vigour and the zeal as God has wanted. The medical puzzle Again, Pastor Ambilikile Mwasapile is quoted to have said the cure drug is made from a concoction he was directed in a vision from God and it is mostly derived from the white liquid from the bark of the poisonous mugarika or poison arrow tree and thus defying the medical profession as far as pharmacology is concerned. It has not been declared anywhere that most toxic agent becomes a healing one. He combines potency of the concoctions of the said local tree with divine powers to treat people, mainly against chronic diseases which have defied cure by modern medicine. This very fact has made the whole treatment mystical and dwells much in ones belief on the potency of the belief in overall religious orientation and the powers of God in healing. Its not the intention of this account to prove into the demerit argument whether or not the concoction claimed to cure chronic diseases lives to it claims. Or even seek to blame a huge section of the Tanzanians that embraced the belief on the miracle cure. It is against this backdrop the powerful Arusha Diocese Bishop Laizer recommended for people who have faith in God to go to Samunge and be administered with the drug which he said centred on faith. Without faith people should not venture to go in the God centred treatment from word go! He said. Pastor Mwasapile reportedly said that only those who go to him in total faith can be cured after taking the medicine then its difficult to insist upon scientific proof as demanded by the government. The former pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT), however claimed that. Indeed he has locked out any inquiries on chemical, medicinal, scientific or even safety appraisals of the herb as precluded. Drama unfolds It was illogical for the Government, through its Minister for Health and social Welfare Dr Haji Mponda to make public enquiries on the matter when it was a private and religious move to seek God intervention on healing on the unhealed diseases, commented a medical student at Muhimbili National Hospital under anonymity. However, it is also true that the Ministry had to be satisfied with the whole setup as a public office to be accountable when things degenerate or become successful. Stephen Ngonyani aka Prof Majimarefu an MP for Korogwe Rural and a traditional healer himself was against the government intervention because; There are a lot of healers and their medicines have not been subjected to such scrutiny and censure. Will the government inspect all healers? queried Prof Maji Marefu for its effect and safety? Hardly 24 hours later the same government made an about face this time through the Minister of State in PM Office, William Lukuvi who not only lifted the suspension, but also said the government would assist the healer by provision of vehicle and the improvement of sanitary conditions. Political healing As aforesaid before the miracle cure, the countrys political and social landscape was in whirlwind and the government appeared to cornered and lacked answers in many matters. All religious wrangles ended while people supported each other friends and kith to go and get treated without taking into account a persons religious denomination. Mixed reaction Tanzanians take things for granted and normally engross any situation that comes along without much scrutiny. A scholar Andrew Mchomvu attributed the massive influx to Samunge for the single dose therapy was purely psychological matter being maintained by psychological mind and actions. He said the move to Loliondo is characteristic of a situation where human mind has been overwhelmed by unsolvable issues for long time. The mind deluge tends to lose hope. So, whenever a sign of hope appears, even if the hope is untested, everyone will rush for it like one in a drowning scenaruio will hold anything hoping will lead to rescue, said Mchomvu. The psychology teacher at the Institute of Social Work (DSW) Mchomvu said since many people suffer from chronic disease such as heart, liver, Aids and cancer are desperate and thus there will always be a rush to grasp any sign of hope for them. Acting Director of Studies and the principal lecturer at the Institute of Social Work (ISW) said; When belief is used with needs of people it becomes very easy to win someones heart, Meanwhile, the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) President Juda Thadaeus Ruwaichi concurred that the increase in the number of problems Tanzanians were facing was the reason for them to rush for quick solutions without thinking of consequence. The bishop said there was a problem with the way the society is being raised whereby families, communities at large were not properly raising the young and this was producing a desperate nation. Critics or no critics the Loiondo miracle hs changed the Tanzanian society that wont be the same again.