Dubbed as the Father of Herbalism, Anthony Kithinji Mwongo is the Chairperson of the Eastern Africa Herbalists Association. He is the founder of Kenya Neem Foundation and is authorized to operate herbal cures all over East Africa. Josephat Juma, reporter for The African Executive caught up with him in his clinic.
Q. Briefly tell me about yourself
A. I am a herbalist, Dr. Kithinji A. Mwongo. I was born in a family of herbalists. My childhood name up to age thirteen was Daktari but I abdicated it with special permission from my uncle because at the tender age, many people were coming to me to solve their
problems and you see, I had to catch up with my class work. I changed it to Kithinji.
While in class 3 in 1961, I set up the first private tree nursery in my area (Ruiri in Meru Central) to sell seedlings and curative herbs. I was fourteen years old then and my home hosts some of the oldest trees in the region.
Q. Most herbalists are regarded as illiterate. Did you complete your studies?
A. Yes I did. I used to top the class throughout my learning and joined Miathene Secondary School. Later, I was enrolled in Meru Teachers College where I was nominated as President of the College Science Club in 1966 and 1967.
Q. What were some of your activities in the Science Club?
A. We used to study both plants and animals and solve scientific puzzles. I had the opportunity to treat college livestock.
Q. Where have you worked?
A. I was first posted as a teacher in Meru Central, then Kitui. In Kitui, I had the privilege of studying Kamba medicine and herbs. In 1990, I was posted to Samburu District as an education officer. There, I got an opportunity to study Maasai medicinal trees and
herbs. In Samburu, I visited every prominent healer to share ideas. I was then moved to Isiolo as an education officer in charge of environment and development. Around this time (1996) UNEP organized a special awareness program on Muarobaini (NEEM) tree and trained 33 leaders. I was privileged to be among the trainees.
I retired as a teacher and decided to fully embark on creating awareness on curing diseases using herbs and founded the Kenya Neem Foundation to deal with herbal medicine and community development.
Q. What are some of the diseases you cure?
A. HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Cancer, Fibroids, Rheumatism, Sickle cell and many others.
Q. Did I get you well that you cure AIDS?
A. Exactly so! Over 3,000 people have visited my clinic. The government of Kenya has referred a good number of them to my clinic. They have left cured and confessed
this to the broadcasting media. I have several letters from the Office of the President. One recommends that I carry out this practice countrywide and the other from the Ministry of Trade and Industry Aids Control Unit (26/3/03) says that the ACU values my association with it and the consistent herbal treatment of HIV positive people.
Q. Tell me more about HIV/AIDS.
A. HIV/AIDS has a cure. Most governments do not understand this. Researchers are taking the wrong path. Sex has been overemphasized as the cause of HIV/AIDS
but it has very little to do with it. The HIV virus is found in dogs. Does it mean dogs copulate with human beings? AIDS is a parasitic virus. It only grows in humans when they host the parasite. Let me also add, I am afraid our VCT centers are condemning people to misery and panic by giving them inaccurate HIV/AIDS test results. The enzyme linked immuno absorbent assay ELISA test is the most frequently used to test HIV status. A test called Western Blot is often used too as a confirmation. For the ELISA test, a sample of the patient’s blood is added to a mixture of proteins. It is assumed that if HIV antibodies are present in the blood, they will react to the proteins in the test. Doctors assume that if your body has made enough antibodies specific to HIV, it must mean that a protein of the virus-and so the virus itself-is present.
In other words, the so called AIDS tests cannot test for the presence of HIV, just the presence of antibodies to it-the usual sign that the body has fought off infection and won. Besides, being unable to detect HIV, these tests are notoriously unreliable. In Russia, in 1990, out of 20,000 positive ELISA tests, only 112 could be confirmed using the Western Blot, according to Australian Biophysicist Elini Papadopulos Eleopulos, who has studied both tests in depth. The French government considers these tests so unreliable that it recently withdrew nine of the thirty HIV tests available. The other problem is that neither test is specific to HIV. Both react to many other proteins caused by other diseases such as Malaria, Syphilis, Leprosy, Grandular fever, Hepatitis B and C, Tuberculosis etc. These, including mere blood transfusion bring up false HIV positive results using the current methods. Why do VCT centers vary in HIV test results on the same person? A positive test labels you HIV positive for life. This bars you from insurance, employment, marriage or even entry into another country.
Q. So Doctor what is the cause of HIV/AIDS?
A. Wrong handling of meat and use of juices. Do you know why the French Government has blockaded British Cattle? Because they have Mad Cow disease and HIV. In Africa we may not be told but that is the reality. In Uganda for example, meat is not handled according to required hygienic standards hence the spread of the virus. Don’t be cheated by the western media that the battle against AIDS is being won in Uganda. That is propaganda. Ugandans are dying en masse due to wrong information and drugs. No wonder Dr. Jonathan Fishbein confessed that the antiretroviral drug Nevirapine used on Ugandans was potentially lethal and could cause long term resistance to further Aids treatments. America’s Wall Street Journal reported that the virus was found in many cattle in the USA called the Borine – Immune – Deficiency Virus, it becomes HIV in man through meat consumption. We should not downplay James Nganga’s letter to the editor (Daily Nation, January 1, 2000) that after a bull fight or long trek, an animal’s blood becomes poisoned with TB, Cancer and even Aids virus. Acid genic foods provide a suitable environment for the virus. Flukes in meat, when they team up with solvents form HIV/AIDS.
Q. What about juices?
A. Juices have a killer solvent called Benzene. Benzene weakens thymus glands where T cells are made hence causing AIDS. Benzene dissolves the brain, spinal cord and body cells. It is found in drinks such as soda, Ribena, Lucozade, etc.
Q. Do their manufactures know this?
A. Yes, they do but they have to sell. It is business as usual. That is why they write the contents in very small print. Benzene is a toxic solvent. In some countries it is monitored in gasoline and plastic cement. In other countries it is not allowed in dry cleaning fluids yet in Africa, it is a preservative. Cigarette manufacturers know the harm cigars cause but they keep on selling.
Q. So what is the link between AIDS and sex?
A. The virus can be transmitted through semen but the actual sources are the parasites and puritants.
Q. Do governments and medical companies know this?
A. Yes they do – but they are afraid of losing their drug market. They always want to offer temporary solutions. When they fail, we depend on them for other temporary remedies. It is absurd that Malaria can be cured using herbs that have no side effects. The Neem oil for example, can disinfect pools thus hinder mosquitoes from breeding. Neem oil is non toxic yet the drug industry imposes mosquito nets on us – a temporary stop gap. They put us on sulphonamides and mark you – sulphur never leaves the body. The more you take it the more it weakens you – I am disappointed with the drug and disease industry.
Q. What’s your comment on the WHO?
A. The WHO is urging governments to fight disease – but it is held captive by drug companies. WHO has existed for many years but why is it unable to cure simple diabetes – a feat that herbs perform in a very short time? WHO will not sanction a drug till it is tested for 8 years – will the patient be alive by then? The Observer newspaper of London revealed that Pharmaceutical giants hire ghost writers to produce articles – then put names of doctors on them. The medics are paid handsomely for “lending” their reputations but misleading medical journals on drugs. These “false” drugs that have multiple side effects find their way to Africa.
Q. Comment on modern medicine.
A. Modern medicine is using the same methods that were used 600 years ago. Does it mean technology is not advancing? Why should we continue to dwell on stools and urine as lab tests? This is quite cumbersome at times. We need to go past this. I don’t treat anyone till he has undergone a lab test and ascertained the cause of the ailment. The cause is always traced in the blood.
Q. So much about drugs. How did you become the Chairman of the Eastern African Herbalists Association?
A. I have been actively involved with the ICASA conference as a country coordinator. As the only person reputed to have cured Aids, I was granted this position. As a result, I am consultant all over East Africa. The government of Zanzibar has invited me to train people on HIV curing in Zanzibar.
Q. What challenges do you face as a herbalist?
A. Many churches and street preachers fight me lumping me together with witchdoctors. Some agents of international drug companies went to the Director of Medical Services to thwart my activities or else donor aid would cease. I minister to many sick people who
can’t afford medical fees. My equipment is not enough to handle many people. Most of my patients are thus outpatients. People are still not aware of the importance of herbal cures. Some people are using my Foundation’s name to sell fake herbal remedies. The
churches are changing, for instant I was invited by the SDA Church to teach 70 pastors. I recently trained people in Methodist University through the effort of the Methodist church. I have talked to teachers in Maragua too.
Q. How many clinics do you run in Kenya?
A. Four, in Malindi, Mombasa, Meru and Nairobi. I have a staff of 72 countrywide, trained in government colleges and St. Johns Ambulance on medical lab technology.
Q. Have you received any awards?
A. Yes. I have the UNDP Certificate of Best Practices on Indigenous Technology in Combating Desertification and Mitigating the Effect of Drought (1998), Environmental Leadership Award(Eastern Africa Environmental Network 2002, 2005) How to Grow and use Neem, Azadirachto Indice (A. Juss) (ICIPE – 1996) Top Micro Entrepreneur Award (H.E. President Kibaki, 2005).
Q. Do you have a role model?
A. Yes. Michael Amkot from Tel Aviv Israel. He practices in Europe, Middle East and Israel and cures Diabetes globally. He has given me a very special computer and lab gadgets. He has a home in Nyali (Mombasa).
Q. How much do you charge your patients?
A. I am a father and wouldn’t like a situation whereby I provide the cure and the patient dies of starvation!
Q. Any last word?
A. Africa though despised, holds the secret in solving not only her problems, but the world’s. Africans should be proud of her heritage and motivate her innovators. We can depend on our own remedies to solve our problems. If we embrace and act on the right
information, the burden of disease will be a thing of the past. As Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai once put it, we must arm ourselves with information if we have to understand and overcome AIDS (The Standard, 12/10/2004).We need not overcome AIDS only, Africa has cures for many other terminal illnesses.
Thanks immensely for giving me your time in spite of your busy schedule with patients.