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Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments


No Trace of Leaders
Almost three years after more than 1,000 followers of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments “cult” died in a fire in Kanungu district, Uganda (in March 2000), Police are still hunting for key leaders of the “doomsday” group. (New Vision, Internet, 1/23/03) [csr 2.1 2003]

Movement for The Restoration of The Ten Commandments of God
Uganda Rights Commission Judges Kanungu Massacre
am from the Uganda Human Rights Commission has concluded that the deaths by burning of over 500 members of the Movement for The Restoration of The Ten Commandments of God two years ago in Kanungu, Uganda, was not a mass suicide. The Report concluded that it was, rather, a well-planned mass murder by leaders of a group that had all the characteristics of a “cult.” [csr 1.2 2002] 

The report details how the group’s leaders violated followers’ human rights, including: the freedom to speak; freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; the right to property; the right to health; and the right to marriage and children. Leaders prevented followers’ contact with their home communities and separated children from their families while restricting communication between them. Children who cried at night were taken out and left in the cold until they stopped.[csr 1.2 2002] 

The report, which calls the group’s leaders “psychopaths pretending to deliver their followers to heaven,” documents “20 ways the cult recruited and retained followers. Laced with threats of the apocalypse, the cult leaders manipulated the predominantly peasant followers into submission. Not questions, but obedience and patience in anticipation of the end of the world, were expected of them.” (David Mukholi, New Vision/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX, Internet, 5/24/02)[csr 1.2 2002] 

The two main leaders of the Movement, Cledonia Mwerinde, and her lover Joseph Kibwetere, are probably themselves dead, the report says. Police have said that they believe the leaders first killed dissidents at branch churches and then gathered followers in the Kanungu church, which they then nailed shut and burned. Kibwetere and Mwerinde are still on a Ugandan police wanted list, as are three others suspected of helping to organize the mass killing: defrocked Catholic priest Dominic Kataribaabo, Father Joseph Kasapuraari, and Ursula Limuhangi. [csr 1.2 2002] The government has not released a final report on its investigation. (AP, Internet, 5/29/02) [csr 1.2 2002]