Six Abajiri Sect Followers Arrested for Sabotaging Census

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In short
Abajiri followers don't believe in numbers and thus discouraged all believers to avoid being enumerated during the exercise which started last month. The sect also discourages its followers from attending school. Several of them argue that research established that counting and registering people was against biblical teachings.

Six members of the ‘‘Abajiri’ religious sect have been arrested in Luwero as authorities apprehended saboteurs to the just concluded National Housing and Population Census.

The arrest  follows a series of arrests involving people campaigning against the census and other government programmes which they are labeling as satanic.

Topher Gimei, the Luweero Criminal Investigation Intelligence Officer identifies the suspects as Aida Osiyo, Justine Tabongo, Mary Kisakye, Alice Nassali, Augustus Sebukalu and Nampa Phoebe. They are residents of Makonkonyigo and Kakoola villages in Kamila Sub County.

Abajiri followers don't believe in numbers and thus discouraged all believers to avoid being enumerated during the exercise which started last month. The sect also discourages its followers from attending school. Several of them argue that research established that counting and registering people was against biblical teachings.

The teachings are based on a  writing in 1 Chronicles 21:1-16:  in which  God became angry at David for taking a census against the people of Isreal. According to the teaching, God proceeded to destroy about 70,000 people in result.

The suspects were however forcefully counted while in police custody

Gimei explains that the group will jointly be charged with sabotaging government programmes and disobeying lawful orders.

The first attempt at arresting the followers of the sect,  days into the exercise was fruitless after they fled their homes.

Members of the Abajiri sect in Luweero district alone are estimated to be more than one hundred from Kamila, Butuntumula and Nyimbwa sub counties.

The National census exercise was extended by one day by the Uganda Bureau Of Statistics [UBOS], following a schedule where it was supposed to end on September 6. The exercise commenced on August 28.

The exercise whose theme has been counting for improved service delivery ''Together we count,'' has been successful according to UBOS, with hiccups from heavy rains, border conflicts and beliefs from some religious cults which disrupted the enumerators.

 

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