Sserulanda Spritual Foundation leader Bambi Baaba Babuwe Mugonza, has died.
Gertrude Njuba, one of the spiritual group followers and Directors of Kagera Eco Cities limited, one of the firms behind the proposed establishment of the Lake Victoria Multibillion Free Trade Zone in Rakai has confirmed Mugonzas death. Mugonza has been ill for some time.
He is remembered for a dream free trade zone which construction Government blocked in 2008 in Kabila, Kakuuto,and Kasasa sub counties in Kyotera, over alleged controversies that surrounded his Sserulanda spiritual movement.
President Museveni set up a special commission of inquiry, headed by Prof Nelson Ssewankambo to investigate the activities of Sserulanda spiritual foundation.
The investigations stemmed from concerns about the establishment of a separate governmental structure to govern the 200 square miles in Rakai and the power the Ssesamirembe leaders will have to enact their own laws, ordinances, by-laws and procedures.
Baaba was said to wield immense power over his followers, who consider him as a “god in human form.” He is said to have got a vision as early as three years of age to build a city and eradicate poverty.
His real name was Jozzewafe Mugonza, and he grew up as a herbalist, diviner and healer, operating in Kyotera and Kalisizo in Rakai district. He reportedly later linked up with some Indian businessmen in Kyotera who sponsored him to travel to India in 1969.
There he went through what his followers call the “12 stages of initiation” and became a “disciple of a divine living Master of Ancient Wisdom”. By the late 1970’s, he reportedly started buying land from individual households in Rakai, until he was able to secure a vast expanse of land on which a proposed Ecco-city and free trade zone awaits.
In his cult, Members are strictly forbidden from eating meat or any animal product, and drinking alcohol. This is allegedly in line with the teachings of Baaba, who combines Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and traditional Bachwezi practices in his religion.
Other practices include common ownership of some assets for the common good like land, kitchen, cattle kraal, reference library and burial grounds. Though members are allowed to own some personal private property like houses, cars, radios or television sets, they are all required to contribute to the common good.
Anyone who fails to contribute, risks having their membership cancelled or be denied access to communally owned resources.
Mugonza has been buried today in Kabira