The Roman Catholic Church community in Uganda is mourning the passing of Father Anatoli Wasswa who breathed his last on Tuesday at the age of 96.
According to a statement from the Catholic Church, Father Anatoli died after an illness on Tuesday morning.
He was the most famous member of the Catholic Banakarooli Brothers based at Kiteredde, Rakai District. He became a Brother in 1947 and an ordained priest in 1977 hence the title Brother/Father.
His fame is based on the fact that he was the first religious person of the Catholic congregation openly practicing African Traditional herbal medicine. He was a Brother/Priest at the same time an African Traditional herbalist, locally known as omusawo Muganda.
He will be remembered for having effectively detached traditional herbal medicine from witch-craft. He carried out research after being appointed in 1981 by the Catholic Church to spearhead the fight against witch-craft which was combining herbal medicine with spirit worship (okusamira).
As a result of his his preaching against witch-craft many former infamous witch-doctors like the late Jane Nkafeero, Elia Paul Kayiira, Jemba Paul Bikwaro, Patrick Kigozi, abandoned the practice and openly announced that it is a pack of lies and tricks. These former witch-doctors described in details how witch-doctors are recruited and trained in trick and telling lies. They showed how the shrines, are cunningly built to hide spirits assistants who together with the witch-doctor excel in voice imitation to sound like spirits thereby hoodwinking the population to believe that there are spirits in the shrines.
Born in 1926 in Singo county, Bro/Fr Anatoli was a qualified teacher trained at Busubizi Teachers Training Center.
He built the first fully fledged modern herbal medicine hospital at Kiteredde which has now been turned into a world-famous Museum displaying all the tricks and gimmicks witch-doctors use to hoodwink the gullible population.
Before his death, Father Anatoli operated a herbal medicine clinic in Kampala at Kibuye.
A book titled, THE LIFE HISTORY OF BRO/FR ANATOLI WASSWA HOW HE DEMYSTFIED HERBAL MEDICINE has been written about his works.