Suspected cult members arrested in Musanze

Ten members of a suspected religious sect who shun government programmes were arrested in Musanze District yesterday, after they pitched camp at a home of one of their members who had abandoned their faith.
Members of the suspected cult held at Muhoza Police station.(Photo B Mukombozi)
Members of the suspected cult held at Muhoza Police station.(Photo B Mukombozi)

Ten members of a suspected religious sect who shun government programmes were arrested in Musanze District yesterday, after they pitched camp at a home of one of their members who had abandoned their faith.

The cult, belonging to a breakaway sect of the ADEPR, refuse to register for national IDs saying they are ‘satanic, shun the health insurance scheme (Mutuelle de Sante)and do not participate in the monthly community work (Umuganda) and national elections, saying it’s against their faith.

The members of the group called ‘Umurimo W’imana’ literally meaning God’s Work, , were sentenced to six months in Prison last year for intimidation and trying to dissuade people from engaging in government programmes.

Speaking to The New Times shortly after their arrest, the group members vowed not to abandon their principles and claimed that they were being persecuted for trying to lure back one of their senior members, Rosa Nyirabidaraka.

“Our faith does not allow us to engage in such programmes, they are not in line with the biblical doctrines,” Joshua Rugamba, one of the leaders of the sect said from Muhoza Police Station.

“We came from Gitarama looking for one of our lost persons, she is one of the founders, we feel persecuted for our faith.’’

The members who broke away from ADEPR in 2001 revealed that their group originated from Uvira in D R Congo and has an estimated 60 members in Muhanga, Southern Province.

The members say they own property collectively because it belongs to God and has got to do God’s work. The members are also not allowed to get married while still serving in official positions.

Six women, including those who were arrested aged between 27 and 29 were not married while two men converted while married.

Police said that the group would be presented to prosecution to answer charges of inciting violence, intimidation and trying to dissuade people from engaging in government programmes.

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