Cult members counted forcibly

An enumerator counting followers of the ‘Palace of peace cult in Masaka District. PHOTO BY Issa Aliga

What you need to know:

Resistant. The cult members claim that God who is their creator, already counted them.

Masaka. Police in Masaka and census enumerators invaded a cult in Kyabakuza village in Masaka Municipality where members who had refused to be counted were enumerated forcibly.
Plain-cloth police officers from the Criminal Investigations Department armed with guns, led the enumerators to the cult base commonly known as ‘Palace of peace’ on the last day of the national exercise yesterday.
The census team was led by the district census technical officer, Ms Rosette Navuga. Some female enumerators who were assigned to count the members of the cult feared that the forceful conduct of the exercise could have repercussions on them.
More than 100 followers of the sect claimed the cult does not allow them to be counted because God, who is their creator, already counted them.
Ms Navuga says all the cult followers were counted as people in the institution not as households though they had initially resisted.
Masaka Resident District Commissioner Linos Ngompek said the district security committee was keeping watch on all religious activities that are not seen as ‘main-stream’ church activity.
The RDC claimed that some religious sects are not preaching the true gospel of Christ. He said that there is need to prevent deadly, criminal ‘doomsday’ cult activities like the Kanungu inferno while not depriving the people of their constitutional right of freedom of worship.

About the cult
Members of this cult put on white clothes, with females posing as nuns, while the men put on white tunics and caps like the Muslims. The group practices rituals, sleep in shrines and each one prays in his or her ‘religion.’