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No arrests 11 years after Kanungu massacre

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th March 2011 03:00 AM

IT is 11 years since over 500 people conscripted by Joseph Kibwetere of the “Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments” perished in an inferno in Kanungu.

IT is 11 years since over 500 people conscripted by Joseph Kibwetere of the “Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments” perished in an inferno in Kanungu.

By Herbert Sempogo

IT is 11 years since over 500 people conscripted by Joseph Kibwetere of the “Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments” perished in an inferno in Kanungu.

However, no one has been arrested in connection with the massacre.

Comprising adults and children, the victims entered a church in Kanungu district and after all doors and windows were locked, a fire was started from within. No one survived.

The movement was founded by Joseph Kibwetere in the late 1980s and at one time reportedly had 5,000 members.

A self-styled “bishop”, 68-year-old Kibwetere was once a prominent Roman Catholic and active in Ugandan politics. In 1998, Kibwetere was hospitalised for a mental illness.

He claimed to have visions and hear conversations between Jesus and the Virgin Mary. According to him, the Virgin Mary complained about the world’s failure to follow from the Ten Commandments.

He was accordingly ordered to announce the end of the world in 2000.

Kibwetere led his followers along with Credonia Mwerinde, whose teachings revolved around surrendering personal belongings. It is said Mwerinde took the property.

The followers, who were predominantly poor and former Catholics, were kept in isolation. Contact with outsiders referred to as “sinners” was monitored.

Days before the disaster, Kibwetere wrote a letter in which he announced that God’s wrath was imminent.

However, Government officials, who received copies, never took him seriously. It is unclear if Kibwetere and Mwerinde died in the fire.

Deputy Police spokesperson Vincent Sekatte said arrest warrants for Kibwetere and Mweride still stand.

No arrests 11 years after Kanungu massacre

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