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Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 12:31 GMT
Ugandan millennium cult smashed


The camp of a self-styled teenage prophetess who is said to eat nothing but honey has been raided and disbanded by police in Western Uganda.

The authorities regarded the camp run by Nabassa Gwajwa, 19, as a security threat, with rebels known to have infiltrated the area.

About 100 riot police, on government orders, raided the illegal camp at Ntusi in Sembabule district on Friday, arresting her and her parents and transporting hundreds of her followers back to their home regions.

Police Spokesman Eric Naigambi said on Monday that "something sinister" had been going on at the camp and they were now investigating.

He said that the prophetess claims to have died in 1996 and received a vision in which God told her that she had been chosen to urge people to repent before the year 2000.

"She urged people to sell off their property and follow her," Mr Naigambi said.

'Sodom'

Local people are reported to refer to Nabassa's camp as "Sodom".

Her cult is a mixture of Christianity and local customs, in which the spirits of Hima and Tutsi ancestors are said to speak through a living prophet.

About 100 people, mostly women, were reported to be in the camp at the time of the raid.

The population had previously reached 500, and included senior officials who are members of President Yoweri Museveni's Hima ethnic group, Mr Naigambi said.

The raid came after numerous attempts to persuade the camp followers to disband voluntarily.

"Security officials were not happy because senior officials were going there, and as the camp was not secured, there was fear for their safety," Mr Naigambi said.

The camp is the second to be closed in the past two months after police stormed and disbanded a camp in central Uganda's Luwero district in September run by another self-styled prophet, Wilson Bushara, who is still on the run. That camp had more than 1,000 followers.

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See also:
02 Aug 98 |  Africa
Ugandan rebels strike back
09 Jun 98 |  Africa
Uganda rebels kill 40

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