5 October 2017

Uganda: King Mumbere Cancels Coronation Ceremony Over Harsh Bail Terms

Photo: Daily Monitor
The Rwenzururu King, Charles Wesley Mumbere consults his lawyers in court (file photo).

Jinja — The King of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere, has cancelled his coronation anniversary ceremony that was slated for October 19, 2017 citing harsh bail terms slapped on him by the Jinja High Court.

The coronation celebrations were supposed to mark 51 years since King Mumbere succeeded the first Rwenzururu leader, Isaya Mukirania Kibazanga.

In a message delivered by the Kingdom attorney general, Mr Alfred Makasi, King Mumbere who last week appeared at Jinja Deputy Registrar's chamber for the extension of his bail period, said "he is the function himself and if he can't access his kingdom then the ceremony cannot go on."

He added: "The coronation will not be there! It is always on October 19; the days remaining are very few and you cannot organize a colourful function even if the bail terms are revised because planning is not as easy as you think. The guest of honour can even be the President but sending out the invitations is also very difficult. But we will have something small like a prayer ceremony."

King Mumbere and others face among other charges; treason, terrorism and murder in connection to the November 27, 2016 raid on his palace by security organs which left over 100 royal guards, police and army officers dead.

It is further alleged that between March 2016 and November 2016 at diverse places within Kabarole and Kasese Districts, King Mumbere and 200 royal guards hatched a plot to overthrow the Government of Uganda by use of arms and expressed such a plot to overt acts such as attacks on various establishments, killing police officers, robbing arms and accumulating ammunition and recruiting individuals to join an armed insurrection against the sitting Government.

King Mumbere, his prime minister, Mr Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire, and six juvenile were granted bail while the remaining royal guards remain incarcerated in Kirinya and Luzira prisons pending their trial in High Court of the international crimes division.

Since his arrest about ten months ago, King Mumbere has never returned to Kasese following Jinja High Court Judge, Justice Eva Luswata's restraint of his movements to only Jinja, Kampala and Wakiso.

His visits were also restricted to only close family members and his personal doctor. His royal guards were dissolved and replaced with government security officers.

Dialogue

Mr Makasi says the kingdom is in talks with government to find ways of restoring peace and harmony in the area.

"The Kingdom Prime Ministerial Commission Committee which is comprised of four members and chaired by Mr Gadi Mbayahi, Deputized by Mr Edwin Kugonza and has Mr Stanley Baluku as the Secretary, is currently in talks with government officials to find a way of solving issues affecting the kingdom," Mr Makasi said.

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