Thumbnail glances at the leaders of the doomsday sect

Fox News, March 31, 2000

(AP) - A brief look at the leaders of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God:

Joseph Kibwetere:

Kibwetere is a former school administrator who had a lifelong interest in Catholic visionaries. The 64-year-old has been widely touted as the leader of the Movement. Also known as "The Prophet,'' he was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

Kibwetere met Credonia Mwerinde in Nyamitanga, Uganda, where he and his wife had gone to hear her testify about her visions of the Virgin Mary. He took Mwerinde into his home, which served as the cult's compound for three years. After relocating to Mwerinde's hometown of Kanungu, Uganda, Kibwetere became a self-styled bishop, donning a bishop's ring and vestments. He never spoke to his family again.

Kibwetere is believed by some members of his family to have perished in a March 17 church fire with hundreds of other cult members. Other reports have said he could have escaped.

Credonia Mwerinde:

On Aug. 24, 1988, Mwerinde claimed to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary in a cave near the Ugandan village of Ngakishenyi. Within the cult, she was known as "The Programmer'' and claimed to have direct contact with God and the Virgin Mary.

Her former common-law husband said that before her vision, Mwerinde ran a shop that sold banana beer and a fiery local liquor. Press accounts have referred to her as a prostitute, but residents say that while promiscuous, the 48-year-old was not paid for sex.

According to Kibwetere's family, Mwerinde was the true leader of the cult. She and four relatives were said to be five of the sect's "12 Apostles.'' Her whereabouts at the time of the church fire are unknown.

Dominic Kataribabo:

At least 155 bodies were found in two graves on land owned by the excommunicated Roman Catholic priest.

Kataribabo studied for a doctorate in theology in a Los Angeles-area seminary in the mid-1980s, said one of his nephews. He later got into trouble with his diocese in Uganda for how he used donations collected in

Los Angeles and for his interest in Mwerinde and her visions. Kataribabo, 32, became a leader in the sect soon after he was excommunicated in the early 1990s. He taught seminars at the church compound in Kanungu covering the cult's prophecies on righteous living and the end of the world. His family told police that Kataribabo had been digging a pit to install a refrigerator in his house. Police found 81 bodies under the floor and 74 more in a sugarcane field outside.

Police believe Kataribabo died in the church fire, citing as evidence a clerical collar found on one of the bodies.

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