Herbalists and traditional healers have lamented and expressed dismay after organizers of the 2016 Expo, Private Sector Federation (PSF), slapped a ban prohibiting them from attending the 19th Expo to be held in Kigali from July 27th to 10th August, 2016 in Gikondo grounds.
The Expo will be attended by 419 exhibiters of whom 271 will be Rwandans while 148 are foreigners.
Some traditional healers say they don’t understand why PSF made such a decision of prohibiting their attendance saying they have been participating in similar exhibitions for the last 10 years, had already prepared for the event and paid Rwf 450,000 to rent space.
“It is a big loss to stop our participation in the expo yet we had paid for space. We don’t know whether our rental fees will be refunded,” said one of traditional healers on condition of anonymity.
The CEO of PSF, Ruzibiza Stephen told press on Monday that that the order to bar their participation was issued by the Ministry of Health.
“We have instructions that their medicines are not licensed to be sold on public market and are no allowed to advertize. The restriction is not ordered by PSF but their regulators,” he said.
PSF says that traditional healers who had already paid stalls rental fee were compensated and those who haven’t will also get their money back.
The communications officer at the Ministry of Health, Kayumba Malick said that regulations restricting traditional healers from advertising their activities were issued in 2012.
He explained that they recently held a meeting with PSF and traditional healers’ federation to remind them that traditional healing services are not allowed in Expo grounds.
Rwanda has about 14,000 traditional healers of who only 2400 have are licensed.
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