Kibwetere's Wife Blames Cult For Family Break-Up

Africa News Online, The Monitor (Kampala), March 27, 2000

Kampala - Doomsday cult leaders brought disharmony to the family of Joseph Kibwetere, his wife Theresa has said, reports Innocent Nahabwe. Theresa, 64, told The New Vision in an exclusive interview on Friday that her family had been happy and peaceful until Kibwetere's fanatical commitment to the cult brought in confusion and division.

She said the cult leaders manipulated her husband into "a yes man" who acted on their will.

"My husband (Kibwetere) was a loving man, who loved his children and acted on his own principles, but the leaders made him a puppet," she said. She said she was a devout member of the cult but deserted it after its leaders started using their visions to harass her and her children. "We fought them off the home," she said "These women (Mwerinde and Ursula) would say they had a vision that we wanted to put poison in their food and that we should be beaten for it.

"My husband, who had never beaten any one of us, would then beat them (children) heavily. This was unbelievable; we lost confidence in the cult. "I quit and fought them out of my home after Angelinan (Mugisha) poured paraffin on my clothes and burnt them to ash, leaving me with nothing. He attempted to hit me with a club.

"I teamed with my children and we fought them out of our home. My husband ordered the Police to arrest my elder son and ordered that nobody should give him food," Theresa further said.

She said her husband was to blame for the Kanungu mass killings, saying the converts including her had joined because he was influential and was seen as a model Catholic.

Theresa said the cult leaders used Kibwetere as a torch-bearer, exploiting his good image, popularity and convincing tongue to win converts. She said she believed that Kibwetere died in Kanungu because she saw a body that looked like his and whose finger had a golden ring. Only Kibwetere wore such as ring as the cult's bishop

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