Cult Leader Blocks Members from Poll Registration

1935 Views Ntungamo, Uganda
A cult in Ntungamo has restrained its members from participating in the electoral process. Followers of Abengiri cult with its base in Kiyoora Parish Nyakyera Sub County, in Ntungamo, believe that any activity that involves allocation of numbers is sinful. As a result, more than 500 members refused to participate in the just concluded voter registration exercise. Darious Bamuturebye, one of the cult members says that they were told that the voter registration exercise was symbolic of the road to hell and the voter registration number allocated to the voters was the passport to hell. Bamuturebye also says that the cult members have been restrained from enrolling in schools, opening up bank accounts and owning mobile phones because all these acts involve being allocated a number. Gimei Eric, the Ntungamo district returning officer, admits that the members of the Engiri cult refused to register and that efforts to convince them to exercise their constitutional right were met with resistance. Peter Rwakifari, the Resident district commissioner, says government may be forced to intervene and crack down on the cult because it's a threat to government programmes. In October 2009, Pastor Moses Massa, the cult leader, was arrested following reports that he was restraining mother from taking their children for immunization. He was also accused of advising people against using toilets. On interrogation, Pastor Massa told police that his church - whose followers pray on Saturdays - is headquartered in Jerusalem, and has branches in Uganda's Kiboga, Kampala and in Kibaale districts.


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