Rwenzururu Subjects Uncertain About Future of Kingdom

1505 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
Clearance Bwambale, the Spokesperson Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu says they are yet to seat and decide their next course of action.

The arrest and subsequent prosecution of the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere has caused uncertainty among his subjects on the future of the cultural institution.

Mumbere was picked up on Sunday during a raid on his place by the army, which claimed the lives of 46 royal guards and saw his palace set ablaze.

At least 139 other royal guards were arrested and are in custody at Kasese Central Police Station.  Mumbere appeared this afternoon before John Francis Kaggwa, the Jinja Chief Magistrate on murder charges. The magistrate didn't allow him to enter any plea since his court lacks jurisdiction on a capital matter.

He remanded the King to Kirinya Prisons until December 13th when the case will come up for mention. This and others events have left some of the Kingdom wondering with the cultural institution still exists.

Yusuf Masereka, a resident of Nyakasanga village in Kasese town council, describes the events in Kasese as unfortunate. He wants government to explain to the kingdom subjects whether the arrest of their king signifies the end of the institution.

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Rossetti Kinomugisha, a resident of Kilembe quarters says that she is not concerned about the arrest of Mumbere, but the fate of the institution. Kinomugisha warns that the Bakonzo risk losing their cultural identity if Rwenzururu kingdom is abolished.

She argues that since government recognized Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu as a cultural institution seven years ago, there has been unity and communal living. Godfrey Kisembo, a Boda-boda cyclist in Kasese town wants government to dialogue with Mumbere so as to restore peace in the region. 

He also says that a committee should be established to investigate the never ending conflicts in Rwenzori region. Clearance Bwambale, the Spokesperson Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu says they are yet to seat and decide their next course of action.

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He however, expresses fear that the institution could be no more. He cites the raid on the Kingdom offices, where vital documents were taken away by security personnel, the destruction of the ritual houses and parliament at the palace.   

But Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the Police spokesperson, says the incidents in Kasese are not an attack on Rwenzururu Kingdom, but on criminals who are using the institution to cause unrest in Rwenzori region. 

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Christopher Kibanzanga, the State Minister for Agriculture and a brother to Mumbere says that there have been several meetings aimed at diffusing the tension between government and cultural institution, but haven't yielded any results. Kibanzanga is however optimistic that the institution will not be abolished.