The leader of a religious cult in Mbale district has been arrested for withdrawing his five children from school protesting the issuance of personal identification number (PIN) to the candidates. The Ministry of Education recently introduced the PINs in order to fight corruption and the fraudulent use of academic documents. Each candidate has to have a computerised PIN.
The Police picked Apollo Paulo Wazaba of the “enjiri” cult from the office of the resident district commissioner (RDC), Abbas Seguya, where he had been summoned to explain his action.
The district criminal investigations department officer, Lawrence Ebwosu, said Wazaba preferred the old system of using index numbers in schools.
“As long as the computerised system is used to register the students, I will not allow my children in school,” Wazaba, a Senior Four dropout, vowed.
Wazaba, 40, a businessman in Mbale main market, said he based his belief on Bible teachings in Revelations 13:16-18, which says: “If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.”
Quoting Revelations 14:9 “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury,” he warned that the Bible doomed anyone who accepted a computer registration number containing the figures 666.
Wazaba, a former Catholic, said the 12-digit PINs to be given to the students would contain the numbers 666.
Two of his children were in Senior Two at Mbale Secondary School, two in Primary Seven and one in Primary Five.
“I gave them money for school fees but they also refused to go to school after they were told that they would be given computerised PINs,” Wazaba said.
Wazaba, whose cult operates in Busamaga near Mbale town, said his religion did not have a Church and was not involved in any form of prayers, praise or worship.
“We only have a gathering hall where we converge to study the Bible. We do not have anybody qualified from a theological college to guide us in Bible study. And we do not need such qualifications to study and understand it,” Wazaba said.
The cult, he said, had over one million followers countrywide and it derived its origin to the time of Martin Luther, the founder of the protestant religion.
The RDC, however, noted that the children belonged to the state and were entitled to Government programmes meant to improve their welfare.