1 Nov 2010

Ugandan police detain apocalyptic cult followers

Daily Monitor - Uganda July 3, 2009

by Pauline Kairu

Jinja -- Police in Jinja have arrested over 40 members of a suspected cult which has been operating under the wraps in Kakira Town Council.

Members of a cultic church called Enjiri were arrested on Saturday during a swoop. The chief preacher, Mr Esawu Bakanza, 38, was picked from the pulpit.

Speaking to Daily Monitor on Wednesday, Mr Bakanza said over 30 members were released after thorough screening, retaining 10 of its key members, whom they intend to take to court.

Jinja District Police Commander John Cohen Arinaitwe said the group would be charged with being members of an unlawful society to wit a cult.

“This is how those deadly cults that set followers on fire start,” Mr Arinaitwe said.

“If you listen to all these people, they seem besotted, they don’t seem to understand what they are following. Their explanation about the association between the number (666), school and immunisation codes is bogus,” he said.

The origin of the Enjiri based in Polota, Mawoito parish is enshrouded in mystery and does not have a definite pastor or leader.

Although some members say its founder is a one Muwonge based in Mbale, others say it does not have a particular leader and that their leader is Jesus. They say they all have an equal stake in the running of the church and that their ultimate guide is the Bible.

The cult, whose doctrine prohibits its followers from taking their children to school or immunising their babies; apparently because the two programmes are associated with the evil code 666, believes the world is coming to an end in the near future and that they should all keep themselves pure in order to meet with God.

They claim the number is in all the pin numbers that are being given to children in schools as well as codes on immunisation cards issued at public hospitals.

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