NGO Board Confirms Receiving Kibwetere Farewell Message

Africa News Online/New Vision (Kampala), March 23, 2000
By John Kakande

Kampala - Doomsday prophet Joseph Kibwetere sent a "farewell" letter to the NGO Registration Board two days before the March 17 Kanungu mass suicide.

NGO Registration Board chairperson and Mubende woman MP Joyce Mpanga told Parliament on Tuesday that on March 15, the leaders of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, submitted to the Board office their last correspondence, in which they talked of the imminent end of the current generation and the world.

The letter, dated January 15, was addressed to the Rukungiri District Resident Administrator.

It gave the history of the cult, its achievements and plan to acquire two vehicles.

Mpanga said the last correspondence from the cult leaders to the board sounded more like a farewell message. They thanked the Government for the support rendered to the cult. But no one suspected the cult was planning a mass suicide.

"The person who brought the letter bid farewell to the board secretariat staff. It was pre-meditated suicide," Mpanga said. She said the letter also talked of a new generation and a new earth after year 2000.

Mpanga said the cult took a long time to be registered and there were numerous correspondences between the board and the cult leadership.

She said in 1994, the Rukungiri Resident District Commissioner wrote to the Board against the cult's activities. But local leaders supported the cult, saying it was operating in accordance with the law.

Mpanga said when the Board told the cult leaders to stop restricting followers from communicating freely, they sent a "Jesus' reply," saying, "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." Owiny Dollo (Agago) contributing on a resolution condemning the Kanungu horror, said devil worship and witchcraft was widespread.

He said, "I had a nasty experience in the north. I was told we should use witchcraft to fight Kony. And these were people in high strata of our society." Dollo said Prof. Isaac Newton Ojok, still believes Alice Lakwena is "a representative of the living God." Ojok was among thousands who joined Lakwena's Holy Spirit movement.

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