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CULTS: How Kibwetere led over 1000 people to their death

By Admin

Added 8th October 2019 04:35 PM

The cult sprang to life during a time when Uganda suffered from both religious and political upheaval

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The remains of the victims are sorted by mortuary workers in April 2000. File Photo

The cult sprang to life during a time when Uganda suffered from both religious and political upheaval

Joseph Kibwetere was one of the leaders of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, a group that splintered from the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda.

The group gained infamy after 778 of its members were found dead from a fire believed to have been orchestrated by the cult leaders.

 rsala omuhangi redonia werinde oseph ibwetere and omnic ataribabo ile hoto(L-R) Ursala Komuhangi, Credonia Mwerinde, Joseph Kibwetere and Domnic Kataribabo. File Photo

 

Other leaders of the cult were identified as Fr Dominic Kataribabo, Fr Joseph Kasapalaali and Credonia Mwerinde.

Although it was initially assumed that Kibwetere died in the incident, the Police shortly afterwards issued a warrant for his arrest and the other leaders of the group. In 2014 it was announced by the Police that there were reports indicating that Kibwetere was hiding in Malawi.

he headquarters of the cult at anungu ile hotoThe headquarters of the cult at Kanungu. File Photo

 

The cult sprang to life during a time when Uganda suffered from both religious and political upheaval. The strongest of which emphasised miracles and Marian apparitions.

In 1984 Kibwetere claimed to be experiencing sightings of the Virgin Mary. This vision had been brought to him by Credonia Mwerinde.

he remains of the victims among the rubble after almost 800 people were set ablaze ile hotoThe remains of the victims among the rubble after almost 800 people were set ablaze. File Photo

 

It is believed that 778 members died in the fire. However, six mass graves were found on the cult land measuring up to 48 hectares.

More than 280 bodies were found and recovered from these graves, bringing to the total death toll up to over 1000.

 boy points out the opening of a pit at one of the abandoned houses where more bodies were found ile hotoA boy points out the opening of a pit at one of the abandoned houses where more bodies were found. File Photo

 

Peter Benanga, 17, was the sole survivor of the fire. He claims he moved out of the compound in search of food since every member was taking part in mandatory fasting.

The cult preached millennial Armageddon, claiming that the world would end on December 31, 1999.

nmates who were drafted to aid the cleanup process dig bodies from one of the mass graves that were discovered ile hotoInmates who were drafted to aid the cleanup process dig bodies from one of the mass graves that were discovered. File Photo

 

Believers were encouraged to pay their debts, make peace with other people, and sell off their property in preparation for the death.

The prophecy did not come to pass bringing mistrust among the believers.

nmates who were drafted to aid the cleanup process dig a mass grave to bury the remains of the victims many of whom were burnt beyond recognition ile hotoInmates who were drafted to aid the cleanup process dig a mass grave to bury the remains of the victims, many of whom were burnt beyond recognition. File Photo

 

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