The Government has been asked to start full-scale investigations into the Kanungu tragedy where more than 1,000 Ugandans were burnt by leaders of a cult movement led by Joseph Kibwetere, reports Richard Mutumba.
The call is contained in the recommendations of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) 2000 country report. The 90-page report was launched in Kampala yesterday.
More than 1,000 people died under mysterious circumstances at Kanungu and other places in March last year in what is believed to be one of the largest mass murder in the world.
FHRI said the Government had failed to unravel the mystery surrounding the deaths.
"The Government should fully investigate the Kanungu tragedy and apprehend the perpetrators of the crime. FHRI reminds government that it has a duty to the victims, their relatives and all Ugandans to fully investigate the massacre," the report said.
Uganda has had a number of difficult times, but the March 17, 2000 mass suicide at Kanungu was an act that greatly lowered the ranking of the country both in the region and on the international scene.
Over 2000 believers of the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God were burnt to ashes. A self-styled prophet Joseph Kibwetere and others who headed the said cult are still at large. Police investigations have never been concluded.
A few days ago I discovered Kibwetere in Tanzania's capital city - Dar.
On, October 2, when I ended my one-week tour of Bagamoyo and Dar-es-Salaam, I decided to travel back the same way I had entered the land of the swahili.
I checked in at Ubungo Bus Terminal, a giant bus park that hundreds of bus coaches plying the interior of Tanzania mainland as well as other countries 'tax'. Here I was set to commence a fourteen-hour 'flight' to Kenya's capital - Nairobi and later 12 more hours to my mother- land Kampala.
I met face-to-face with one of Uganda's most wanted men in a place visited by about 7000-10,000 people.
I was not so sure whether all Tanzanians had knowledge about the former cult leader. But I met him in Ubungo Bus Terminal's clean toilet. I entered the toilet to answer nature's call before I start my long journey, a second thought told me to look up on the grey-clean wall.
"Kibetwere Spoiler Boy" was well marked on the wall. As I went on to do nature a favour, I thought of this.
"So these Tanzanians must be our great friends". It was important to learn that they (Tanzanians) did, and still make Kibwetere a big subject in such a public place. On the contrary, here back home investigations have never revealed even a single grain of truth of "spoiler boy's where-bouts.
No wonder, Tanzania played a major role in the smoking out of yet another spoiler boy, Idi Amin in 1979.
Oh Uganda the country of wonders and miracles!
Index Page: Ten Commandments of God: Tragedy in Uganda
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