'Ugandan doomsday cult leaders alive'

India Times, March 24, 2000

KAMPALA: Two main leaders of Uganda's suicide doomsday cult left their compound before hundreds of members died there and are now at large, a witness told Daily New Vision newspaper on Thursday.

Cult leaders Joseph Kibwetere and Credonia (Mwerinde) prayed for us on last Thursday night and then they left the camp. They did not attend the early morning prayers the following day, a teenaged member named as Ahimbisibwe told the paper.

At least 330 members of the restoration of the Ten Commandments of god cult, including 78 children, died later Friday when fire, possibly the result of explosions, engulfed a church in the compound in the southwestern village of Kanungu.

Ahimbisibwe, who left the camp before the blaze, claimed that he saw Kibwetere and Mwerinde leaving in the early hours of Friday morning.

"I saw Kibwetere and Credonia walk out of the camp seperately. They each carried a small bag," the teenager said.

Minister of state for foreign affairs Amama Mbabazi told the state-owned newspaper that he had spoken to the young cult member.

"I have received information that Joseph Kibwetere and other cult leaders did not die in the inferno," he said.(AFP)

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