The Monitor (Kampala)

Uganda: Museveni - Mumbere Crowning for Oct

Prince Charles Mumbere of the Rwenzururu Kingdom will be crowned King in October, President Museveni has announced. "Am now happy to inform you that I have written information that now you all agree on Obusinga, since you agree, I also agree," Mr Museveni said yesterday during the 25th anniversary of South Rwenzori Diocese at St Paul's Cathedral in Kasese.

Mr Museveni, who said the delay by government to recognise the Rwenzururu Kingdom was because of bad elements who were telling him lies about it, added: "Mr Mumbere has already written to me for the coronation on October 19 and I have agreed."

Mr Museveni's un-expected announcement turned the church service into celebrations for Obusinga as the kingdom officials led by Prime Minister Constatine Bwambale jubilated interrupting the President's speech, forcing immediate handshakes.

The government's recognition of the Rwenzururu kingdom which comprises the Bakonzo and Bamba could have major political implications both for Mr Museveni and the opposition candidates especially the Forum for Democratic Change, with Mr Museveni making significant political gain ahead of the 2011 elections. Mr Museveni lost to FDC's Dr Kizza Besigye who picked 56 per cent of the votes in Kasese to Mr Museveni's 43 per cent.

Mr Museveni said he was scheduled to travel to Libya on the same day but cancelled the trip in favour of the Kasese function. Mr Museveni, who donated 20 cows to the diocese, refused to comment on pleas by Bishop Jackson Zerebende to pardon embattled Ministry of Works Engineer-in-Chief Samson Bagonza who has been interdicted for neglect of duty in relation to mishandling of Chogm road works.

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