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Joseph Kibwetere and Cult mass suicide

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by muhogomchungu, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. muhogomchungu

    muhogomchungu JF-Expert Member

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    March 17, 2000 more than 500 members of the African "Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments" entered their small church in Kangngu, within the western region of Uganda. They sang for some hours before the small wooden building was set on fire from inside. The doors were locked and windows boarded and nailed shut. Everyone inside perished.

    Their charred bodies, including 11 children, were later found by authorities.

    Africa reeled in shock as Ugandan police found hundreds more murdered by the cult. According to pathologists who examined their remains some were poisoned, others strangled; many had stab wounds and/or fractured skulls.

    Their bodies were hidden under houses or thrown down wells and latrine pits. The cult death toll ultimately reached at least 780, though some reports place the final number at more than 1,000. The movement's mass murder/suicide seems to have surpassed Jonestown as the most horrific cult tragedy in recorded history.

    Cult Leader ,Joseph Kibwetere

    The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments was founded by Joseph Kibwetere in the late 1980s and at one time may have included as many as 5,000 members.

    The 68-year-old self-styled "bishop" was once a prominent Roman Catholic and active in Ugandan politics. In 1998 Kibwetere was hospitalized for treatment of a mental illness. "He had an affective disorder. A cyclical thing. Up and down. Like manic depress[ion]," advised Dr. Fred Kigozi, executive director of Kampala's Butabika mental hospital.

    Kibwetere claimed to have visions and hear conversations between Jesus and the Virgin Mary. He said the Virgin Mary complained about the world's departure from the Ten Commandments. And subsequently, that he was commanded to announce a coming Apocalypse in the year 2000.

    Kibwetere (second right) and his assistants Ursala Komuhangi, Mwerinde and Fr. Kataribaabo in 1995

    Kibwetere authored a handbook, which foretold a litany of coming calamities that would destroy most of the world's population. He said only those who obeyed the commandments and followed him might be spared within his church, which he called the "ark."

    A Catholic priest Dominica Kataribaabo joined the movement and became a leader below Kibwetere. But Joseph Kibwetere's special revelation led to expulsion and eventual excommunication for both men from the Roman Catholic Church. The past Bishop of Mbarara Diocese said, "Kibwetere claimed that he could talk to God, which was unacceptable."

    Credonia Mwerinde, prominent and powerful Ugandan cult leader

    Joseph Kibwetere merged his leadership with a former prostitute named Credonia Mwerinde often called the "programmer." Some say Mwerinde, who claimed to have met the Virgin Mary, ultimately eclipsed the cult's founder in both real importance and power.

    Fr. Paul Ikazire, a priest and former cult member said she dominated the group and that "Kibwetere was just a figurehead." He characterized Mwerinde as "a trickster, obsessed with the desire to grab other people's property." The Virgin Mary as channeled through Mwerinde proscribed all the rules of the group.

    Credonia Mwerinde preached that personal possessions were evil. She encouraged cult members to sell everything and surrender all their assets to her. Eventually Mwerinde became rich and accumulated farms, houses and cars. Paul Ikazire recalled, "She would come in and say things like: 'The Virgin Mary wants you to bring more money."'

    Kibwetere and Mwerinde kept their followers isolated. Any contact with outsiders ("sinners") was strictly monitored and often forbidden. Cult members were predominately poor and former Catholics. They were encouraged to be celibate, sworn to a vow of silence and unable to speak unless in prayer. They often relied upon sign language.

    The movement's members rose at dawn, prayed until noon and worked long hours in the fields before going to bed usually at 10 PM. Though newcomers were fed well the regular members largely subsisted on beans.

    They were hungry, tired, estranged from family and largely cut off from the outside world.

    Doomsday predictions were made by the cult's leaders, but pushed forward again and again. Kibwetere's manifesto handbook had been mailed out by the thousands, which was titled "A Timely Message From Heaven: The End of the Present Time." The date for this final event was set for December 31, 2000. When that day passed as another unfulfilled prophecy it is believed that some disgruntled members wanted to leave and have their property returned.

    On March 15, 2000 (two days before the church fire) Kibwetere issued a "farewell" letter to government officials. That letter spoke of the imminent end of the current generation and the world.

    Similar sentiments were expressed in a previous communication, which said "God sent us as a movement of truth and justice to notify the people to prepare for the closing of this generation, which is at hand." One official reflecting upon Kibwetere's last letter recalled, "The person who brought the letter bid farewell to the...staff. It was pre-meditated suicide."

    Hundreds burned to death within Ugandan Church

    Joseph Kibwetere's family says he is dead. His body has not been positively identified, but a ring believed to be Kibwetere's was found on a finger amongst the rubble of the burned church. Police never recovered the body of Dominic Kataribaabo, but did find his 1997 passport.

    There are conflicting claims regarding Credonia Mwerinde. At one point the police claimed to have identified her body. But some people speculate she is still alive. Cult survivors claim she killed the other leaders before fleeing.

    One local businessman stated that just days before the church fire, Mwerinde talked to him about selling cult property, which included large tracts of land, vehicles and buildings. A documentary later produced for African television concluded that "money and greed" motivated Mwerinde to initially help form the cult and ultimately led her to destroy it.

    An international law enforcement hunt for the leaders of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments has so far produced no meaningful results. No leader has yet been located or arrested.

    GAZETI JF-Expert Member

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    Habarini wana JF, Kuna mtu mmoja alifanya mambo ya kutisha kuliko Osama anaitwa Kibwetere. Aliangamiza watu wengi kwa moto kule Uganda. Napenda kujua kutoka kwenu kama huyu mtu alishakamatwa au anasakwa mpaka leo. Maana mambo aliyofanya ni mazito halafu ghafla dunia imekuwa kimya au ndio yale ya Mzungu mmoja sawa na waafrika 1,000?
  3. Masika

    Masika JF-Expert Member

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    Habari wana jf
    nakumbuka mwaka 2000 kulikuwa na jamaa anaitwa kibwetere ambaye aliwachoma wafuasi wake kanisani huko uganda.
    Je huyu mtu siku hizi yuko wapi? Kesi yake iliendaje maana nlikuwa bado mdogo katika kufuatilia!
    Naomba mwenye taarifa amwage hapa kwa faida yangu na kwa wengine
  4. ntamaholo

    ntamaholo JF-Expert Member

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    alitokomea kusikojulikana na hazina ya kutosha
  5. Masika

    Masika JF-Expert Member

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    Hee! Inawezekana vipi? Au kuna mkono wa taasisi kubwa? Mtu asababishe mauaji kama yale kisha apotee bila kupatikana tena nchi kama ya uganda,Mbona Osama kadakwa? Au ndo tuseme yeye hana kosa?
  6. Jeji

    Jeji JF-Expert Member

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    hata mimi huwa najiuliza huyu jamaa aliishia wapi?
  7. StaffordKibona

    StaffordKibona JF-Expert Member

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    Huyu jamaaa inasemekana naye aliungua moto na wafuasi wake
  8. p

    pilu JF-Expert Member

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    Kaaazi kweli kweli!
  9. nitonye

    nitonye JF-Expert Member

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    huyu jamaa bado yupo alikuwa anatekeleza maagizo ya museven kwa jamii inayomtii mfalme wa buganda

    STREET SMART JF-Expert Member

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    umenifurahisha asana mkuu; may sasa iv anakula bata ktk fukwe za copa cabana
  11. S

    Snitch Senior Member

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    Haha haha acha uhuni wewe mbona wenzake wengine wanakula bata hapa hapa na kusomesha watoto na kujenga shule na kununua maeneo bmoyo...

    Yani ewe mungu tunusuru waja wako na utuonyeshe KWELI
  12. M

    Mzalendo_Mkweli JF-Expert Member

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    Kibwetere (second right) and his assistants Ursala Komuhangi, Mwerinde and Fr. Kataribaabo in 1995

    By Patrick Ajuna

    Kibwetere, the leader of the Movement for the Restoration of the 10 Commandments and his assistants, are wanted for masterminding the deaths of over 1,000 people. For 13 years now, no one knows whether he is alive or dead

    Thirteen years ago, anticipation of great things to occur in the new millennium. Excitement greeted the dawn of the year 2000.

    However, hardly had the celebratory mood cooled down than the world was awoken to the shocking news of a religious mass murder on March 17, 2000, in Kanungu, then within Rukungiri district in western Uganda. About 1,000 people belonging to the Movement for the Restoration of the 10 Commandments of God cult were killed.

    New details emerging from the statement given by Kibwetere's son, Juvenal Rugambwa, to the Police indicate that he identified a burnt body which had a ring like the one his father used to wear and a piece of cassock around the body.

    In his statement taken in 2000, Rugambwa also informed the Police that he saw the usual clerical garb and shape of the head which he believed was his father's.

    Police's view
    However, Victor Aisu, an assistant commissioner of Police attached to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), declined to divulge details of the post-mortem report, saying all bodies were examined at once and that releasing the results could jeopardise investigations. Aisu participated in the preliminary investigations.

    SundayVision saw several documents including letters from State House on the matter, but an assistant commissioner of Police only identified as Swaliki, who was responsible for the documents, declined to release any of them.

    About 450 people perished in the fire that gutted the cult's church where people had gathered allegedly to receive the Blessed Virgin Mary and witness the end of the world. The rest of the bodies (550) were found buried in mass graves in different sites where the cult operated.

    Initially, it was thought to be mass suicide, but later a commission of inquiry instituted by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), established that it was a well planned murder orchestrated by the cult leaders, Credonia Mwerinde, a former prostitute and Joseph Kibwetere, a former teacher and failed politician.

    Other cult leaders included Angelina Mugisha, Fr. Joseph Kasapurari and Fr. Dominic Kataribabo.
    The 2002 UHRC report on the incident and other media reports trace the origin and background of the cult, how many people died, who killed them, why they were killed, where they were killed, how and where they were buried and the extent of human rights violations.

    Unanswered questions
    However, some questions have remained unanswered and no explanation has been given by the concerned authorities 12 years since the incident happened.


    The Government's commission of inquiry report on the incident has never been published and there is no information on the Government's response to the recommendations of the UHRC report.

    The occurrence of this horrific tragedy, which is arguably one of the world's worst religious mass murders ever recorded, was expected not only to be an eye-opener to the Government and the public, but also help put in place stringent measures to avert future occurrence of crimes of similar nature and magnitude.

    In spite of the horrific mass murder, Ugandans have continued to embrace cults like the Faith of Unity in western Uganda under the leadership of Owobusobozi Bisaka.

    Owobusobozi Bisaka

    Besides Kibwetere, the whereabouts of his co-cult leaders remain unknown, and no further investigations were made despite the UHRC report recommendation to that effect.

    Venus Tumuhimbise, the commissioner general crimes at CID, said Police investigations are still ongoing.

    "Since the culprits have not yet been arrested and prosecuted, it means investigations have not yet been completed," he said.

    According to the Police report, the cult leaders may have perished with the followers.

    The Police report noted that written documents left behind, including a letter to Kibwetere's wife and records left with Police in Kanungu, encouraged the survivors of the inferno to continue with the religion.

    "Documents received, including passports, identity cards and personal belongings indicated that the owners could have died in the inferno," the Police report pointed out.

    The UHRC report says on March 16, 2000, at around midnight, one of the cult followers only identified as Karangwa handed over some sect documents for safe custody to Kanungu Police Post.

    There is contradicting information obtained from other sources, however.
    According to Innocent Byaruhanga, one of the survivors, Kibwetere left Kanungu two days before the fateful day while other cult leaders left hours to the inferno.

    Since Kibwetere has never showed up since the inferno, Tumuhimbise said he is for now regarded as a dead person. Quoting Section 20 of the Estates of the Missing Person's Act 1973, Tumuhimbise said if a person goes missing for three years, he shall be presumed dead.

    Other concerns
    UHRC questioned the link between the resident district commissioner of Rukungiri, Kitaka Gawera and the cult leaders.

    "The Government should establish the true facts that led to the then RDC (Gawera) to fraternise with the cult leadership in Kanungu to the extent that he laid a foundation stone on one of their buildings."

    However, his predecessor, Yorokamu Kamacerere, in his letter to the NGO registration board and personal briefing to his successor, advised against the registration of the cult.

    However, Aisu said RDC Gawera executed his duties. "Police is not aware of allegations that the RDC was cautioned by his predecessor and NGO registration board against the registration of the cult."

    Despite the Kanungu inferno, a number of NGOs, especially those which are faith-based, are not registered and therefore operating illegally. Stephen Okello, the NGO board legal officer said the Police needs to find out which NGOs are operating illegally and prosecute them.

    Gilbert Ogutu, a lecturer of religious studies at Nairobi University, cautions: "What happened in Uganda (Kanungu) should be a lesson to developing countries that such cults and sects should be monitored closely by governments so that this disaster does not repeat itself."

    If the concerned authorities do not act very fast to arrest the situation, the occurrence of Kanungu-like incidents would be inevitable.

    Preceding events
    The followers had been told that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear to deliver a special message between March 16 and March 18, 2000. Women who had separated from their husbands even went home to persuade those husbands to return to Kanungu to wait for the message.

    Followers believed they were going to heaven and they needed to cleanse themselves of whatever sins they had committed on earth. About 60 followers, who had not paid graduated tax, did so on March 14, 2000. l On March 16, 2000 at around midnight, one of the followers, Karangwa, handed over some sect documents (land title, articles of association, constitution and certificate of incorporation) for safe custody to Kanungu Police Post.

    The cult leadership seemed to have been preparing for murder. According to Godfrey Bangirana, an assistant commissioner of Police in-charge of serious crime, the cult leadership bought 36 jerrycans of petrol at one of the petrol stations in Kampala on March 9, 2000, yet the cult had no vehicle.

    On March 12, 2000, Fr. Kataribabo bought two 20-litre jerrycans of concentrated sulphuric acid from a one Musisi, a proprietor of Musco Agencies in Kasese, supposedly for using in the batteries of the cult vehicles. Pathologists found some traces of petrol and acid at the Kanungu site.

    On March 11, 2000, Fr. Kataribabo sold his house and surrounding land to his nephew, where 153 bodies were later found.

    Between March 6 and 16, 2000, all the property of the cult was sold at throw-away prices. The cult leaders claimed that they were selling the property to raise money to buy a lorry and a generator.

    This story was done in collaboration with the Makerere University post-graduate investigative journalism programme

    Source : Did Kibwetere die in inferno?
  13. donlucchese

    donlucchese JF-Expert Member

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    Huyu jamaa sijui aliweza vipi kuwaconvince watu kuamini kwamba mwaka 2000 ndio mwisho wa dunia na kuwajaza kwenye kanisa na kuwatia kibiriti halafu ye akala kona.

    Its amazing how faith sometimes can blind us.
  14. kitwala

    kitwala JF-Expert Member

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    Huu ulimwengu una mambo mengi sana tusiyoyajua.
  15. Kitoabu

    Kitoabu JF-Expert Member

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    Kumbe ndio huyu!! Laatu llah alayh.
  16. Kitoabu

    Kitoabu JF-Expert Member

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    Hivi bado yu hai? kama yu hai anaishi wapi kwasasa?
  17. Elli

    Elli JF-Expert Member

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    hahahaaa jiulize inakuaje au wanawezaje CCM kuwarubuni watu kila uchaguzi
  18. Kennedy

    Kennedy JF-Expert Member

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    Cha ajabu eti hadi leo hajakamatwa pamoja
    na Interpol tele kila kona Duniani.
  19. Elungata

    Elungata JF-Expert Member

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    Interpol itapenya hadi ndani kabisa ya south sudan.ona hata konyi hawajampata
  20. j

    jacben90 Member

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    Du bdo yupo hai?????