Meet Ugandan Herbalist Victor Kiwalabye
Herbalist Victor Kiwalabye.

Meet Ugandan Herbalist Victor Kiwalabye

His strong curing herbs have attracted many researchers from within and outside Uganda.

By Risdel Kasasira
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First published: December 10, 2005

Herbalist Victor Kiwalabye claims to cure different diseases from his clinic in Kireka including the cancer, Hepatitis B, epilepsy and many more using herbs he gets from the forests of Mabira, Imaramagambo and other areas like the Rwenzori mountains, Kotido, Sudan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa with the help National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). He says NARO has given him transport support to get herbs outside Uganda.

Unlike other herbalists, Kiwalabye cannot treat a patient without medical results showing the kind of disease one is suffering from. “I cannot treat patients who have not been tested and diagnosed in hospitals because I first want to know the type of disease I am dealing with,” he told us.

His strong curing herbs have attracted many researchers from within and outside Uganda. “Students from Makerere University are always here at my Kireka clinic carrying out their researches. And also I work with the botany department of Makerere University,” he says.

In his office, which is full of sacks of herbs, Kiwalabye pauses in photos with Doctor Samuel Dishe who works with the World Bank and Doctor Joseph Green an American doctor researcher on HIV/AIDS in Africa who have carried out research on his herbs.

Kiwalabye says these officials have been wooing him to go and work in America and be given US citizenship but he has refused, fearing they would use his medicine to make money and also snatch ownership of his medicine.

“Why should they take me away from home?” the bearded Kiwalabye asks jokingly.

After all there is not much to regret staying and working at home in Uganda. He is becoming more popular daily and now treats over 30 new patients, that is excluding the old ones who come daily to collect medicine from different parts of the country.

A boy we found at Kiwalabye 'clinic' on Friday December 9th having come to Kiwalabye for recue from the visible disease.

Kiwalabye says there are many diseases, which medical doctors cannot treat but for him he treats them and that patients have tested negative after his treatments.

One of the former patients is Edison Mukimbiri. Edison says he first suffered abdominal pains before his eyes turned yellow and he started passing orange urine.

He went to Mengo hospital and carried out a medical check up and the doctor found he was suffering from Hepatitis B, a liver disease. “The doctors told me the disease had no cure and that he should avoid sweet and fattening foods. They (doctors) told me not to eat salt, meat and avoid drinking milk,” he says. Mukimbiri says the doctors also advised him to stop smoking and taking alcohol. The doctor also recommended to him that he should start on Anti-Retroviral Drugs in order to boost his body immunity.

Frightened on hearing this, he started thinking he was HIV positive. “I was confused and at first I thought it was AIDS but later I realized I had carried out all the tests,” he said. Another medical check up at Mulago hospital produced the same results.

Thanks to Sam Kamurinde, his friend who told him about the herbalist in Kireka who cures such different diseases, Mukimbiri says he no longer suffers from the disease.

Mukimbiri immediately went there and Kiwalabye first took his photos with his orange eyes. “When you reach there, he takes your photo in order to easily monitor changes as you get cured,” Mukimbiri says. Kiwalabye has albums of photographs of people who have recovered completely from the different diseases as evidence of his success in medicine.

Photos from his clinic: One of Kiwalabye's patients before and after treatment.

Mukimbiri says he was given two types of medicine. One was a five-liter jerry can, which he used as water to cook food instead of the usual water and the other he would take a ½ liter cup early in the morning and another in the evening. Mukimbiri took the medicine for two weeks and his eyes and urine cleared but he continued with the medication for two months when he got cured completely.

To confirm his recovery he went back to the same doctor in Mengo hospital and carried out the medical tests and the results were normal but the doctor could not believe and said she had made a mistake during the tests. Mukimbiri never told the doctor that he used herbal medicine. This is one of the many patients who have got healing from Kiwalabye.

Kiwalabye has realized that many patients do not want to be known that they go to his place to get medicine. He says people do not want to be associated with traditional herbal medicine and some come hiding when they come to collect the medicine.

He says for traditional medicine to be known internationally, Africans must feel free with it and urges Ugandans to be proud of their own medicine. “You see many of our people do not want to be identified with their own things and it is a very big problem for us because we shall not develop with such a fearful attitude,” he says

At the time when we visited Kiwalabye’s clinic, there were two catholic nuns who had come to collect medicine but declined to reveal their names.

One said that she brought a kid who had a brain tumor and could not speak or blink but he was put on Kiwalabye’s herbal medicine and is now speaking.

Kiwalabye has a heap of books in his office with testimonies of people who have recovered from his medicine. In one of the books, there is a testimony of an Italian nun who was suffering diabetes and got healed after taking 10 liters of Kiwalabye’s herbal medicine.

Kiwalabye also claims to treat lymphoma (throat), Osteoporosis (borne), Carcinoma (vaginal) and Eczema cancer. The ‘doctor’ like many patients call him also treats kidney, Asthma, skin rashes and Sinuses.

He uses plant roots, leaves and tree peelings to treat the diseases but he refused to reveal the names and types of the trees he uses to treat his patients.

He says he is limited by problems of finances for transport and space but hopes to construct a hospital where he can admit people.

He says it is expensive to transport medicine from different parts of the country and appeals to government to provide him with a vehicle. “Identify with us as herbalists and lets promote our own medicine which is very strong to even illnesses like cancer,” Kiwalabye says.

By Risdel Kasasira
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First published: December 10, 2005
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Risdel Kasasira is a graduate Journalist who reports for Ultimate Media Consult. He has worked for The Daily Monitor, Radio Uganda and has done several communication related consultancies. He is also the Research Executive at Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd.

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