TOP
Tuesday,December 01,2020 02:13 AM
  • Home
  • Archive
  • Kibwetere’s daughter speaks out on the cult

Kibwetere’s daughter speaks out on the cult

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th March 2010 03:00 AM

IT is now 10 years since the Kanungu inferno in which over 1,000 people lost their lives. The people belonged to a religious cult called the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.

IT is now 10 years since the Kanungu inferno in which over 1,000 people lost their lives. The people belonged to a religious cult called the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.

By Mary. A Kibwetere

IT is now 10 years since the Kanungu inferno in which over 1,000 people lost their lives. The people belonged to a religious cult called the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.

It was March 17, 2000 around 9:00am when the victims set themselves ablaze. Those who lost their loved ones in Kanungu remember the incident every year on March 17.

I will also remember my father Joseph Kibwetere and the bad name which his family has got as a result, but I pray that God gives me the power and courage to clean the bad image of our family.

In Kanungu, many people lost their lives at the hands of a religious sect which convinced them about going to heaven. What is shocking is many mushrooming churches headed by money-minded pastors still have a lot of followers. People’s property is grabbed secretly but people do not report these cases to the Police because some pastors threaten them into silence. People’s wives are being used, children are forced into immoral acts, but the people keep flooding these odd churches. Many marriages have fallen apart because of such churches.

In the Kanungu case, married couples were separated from their children. To join the cult all members had to sell their property and hand the money to Cledonia Mwerinde. It was reported that Mwerinde had to sacrifice a child every Friday. She allegedly did this to stop the Government from finding out about the cult.

The Kanungu saga should have been a lesson to all Ugandans who join false religious organisations looking for wealth and healing. Even Jesus said there would be false prophets who would call themselves by His name. To call Jesus every minute does not mean that you are holy.

The Kanungu cult leaders used to tell their believers that they heal diseases mostly HIV/AIDS. When Mwerinde used to lay her hands on her followers they would fall down. Sometimes her followers would scream that demons were leaving them. Mwerinde’s acts are similar to those in many churches today.

The Kanungu leaders used to demand money from their followers. Almost all the cult members offered money to Mwerinde who eventually became rich.

Before starting the cult, Mwerinde used to sell local beer (tonto). When she left her fifth husband in 1988, she went to Ishaka where she was working in someone’s banana plantation.

In comparison, today many pastors start their churches (ebiwempe) in poor condition, but end up building state of the art churches and own expensive mansions with posh cars and marry many women. They do this by demanding money from their followers.

The community in Kanungu used to complain about the Kibwetere cult, but the Rukungiri district authorities never wanted to violate people’s freedom to worship so they ignored the community’s complaints.

The cult leaders even sent their members home to sell their property and bid their relatives farewell two weeks before the incident, but this was still ignored by the authorities.

The Police and local leaders were only shocked when they woke up to the news that thousands had been set ablaze by a religious sect they knew too well. Had the authorities taken this cult matter seriously, the tragic incident would have been averted.

I appeal to the Government to critically look at cult-like churches. The state should not interfere with people’s freedom of worship, but must ensure that it is done within the law. The Government must monitor all religious activities in the country. My advice to Ugandans is to critically think about a new religious sect before joining it. Parents should also teach and guide their children on religious issues.We must all ensure that a repeat of the Kanungu massacre never happens again.
The writer is the daughter of Joseph Kibwetere

Kibwetere’s daughter speaks out on the cult

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author