Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere has been granted bail.
Jinja High Court Judge Eva Luswata said Mumbere does not have any history of jumping bail and had presented a list of prominent Ugandans as his sureties. These include MPs Winnie Kiiza, William Nzoghu, Harold Muhindo, Robert Centenary and former Rwenzururu Prime Minister Constantine Bwambale.
Mumbere was ordered to sign a non-cash bond of 100 million Shillings. His sureties will also sign a non-cash bond of 100 million Shillings each. He will not be allowed to travel to the districts of Kasese, Ntoroko, Kabarole and Bundibugyo during his time on trial.
Mumbere was arrested on November 27, 2016 following UPDF-led operations in Rwenzori region that culminated into the attack on the Palace of Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu. The army was reported to be searching for persons suspected to be involved in attacks in Rwenzori region.
He, together with over 150 Royal Guards, were subsequently charged, with terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery and attempted murder.
By Robert Ssegawa
The International criminal court has acknowledged receipt of a petition by MPs from Kasese in relation to the killings in the area.
Over 100 people were killed when the UPDF stormed Omusinga’s palace in November last year and arrested Rwenzururu king Charles Wesley Mumbere.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday at Lebanese restaurant at Centenary park the MPs led by the leader of opposition and MP for Kasese Winnie Kiiza said the ICC had written back acknowledging receipt of the petition.
According to Kiiza among those petitioned include president Museveni Commander in chief, Brig General Peter Elwelu and police director in charge of operation AIGP Asuman Mugyenyi.
The MPs said the cases in the petition include mass killing of innocent people and inhumane behavior of the army and police.
The Rwenzururu King, Charles Wesley Mumbere, his Premier Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire and 152 Royal guards are expected to re-appear in Court today in Jinja.
These will appear to answer charges of treason, terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery, malicious damage and attempted murder over the recent Kasese clashes that left more than 100 people dead and scores injured.
The suspects including king Mumbere who spent their Christmas in different prison cells, were mid this month charged with five charges and 41 counts at the Jinja Chief Magistrate’s Court.
Under the charge of treason, the king and his Royal guards and others still at large, between the month of March and November this year in different places within Kasese and Kabarole planned to overthrow a lawfully established government by force of arms.
According to charge sheet, the accused expressed such plot by utterances and overt acts such as attack on various police establishments, killing police officers, robbing arms and ammunition, recruitment of individuals to join an armed insurrection against the government.
The King has since been detained at Luzira Maximum prison and his co-accused are in different prison cells including Kirinya, Bugungu and Naguru respectively.
Through his Lawyers Caleb Alaka, Samuel Muyizi, Aarone Kizza and Evans Ochen, on December 14 , the king filed an affidavit before the Jinja High Court in support of a bail application.
In this affidavit, he accused the army and police of summarily executing his subjects during what he said was a ruthless massacre on November 27.
At least 25 more bodies have been recovered in Kasese District.
The Kasese District Police Commander, Odongo, says the bodies were recovered on Monday from Maliba and Bugoye Sub Counties.
According to Odongo, they are yet to establish whether the bodies are for Rwenzururu royal guards or residents in the area. The recovery of the bodies brings the number of those killed in the Kasese clashes 126 people.
Records at Kasese Police Station show that 55 people were killed on Saturday among them 14 police officers and 44 civilians believed to be royal guards. Another 46 royal guards were killed when the army launched an offensive on the palace of Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere.
Sowed Mansur, the Rwenzori East Police spokesperson says Police is still searching for more bodies in Kisinga, Maliba, Bwesumbu, Bugoye and Buhuhira.
Mansur doesn’t rule out that the number of those killed increasing. According to Mansur, Police will continue with its operations to wipe out the royal guards who are scattered in different parts of the district.
Meanwhile police will today start conducting postmortem on the bodies of the royal guards who were killed at the King’s palace. Some of the bodies are in mortuaries in Kasese and Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital.
On Monday, police turned away relatives of the deceased who had come to collect their remains.
Court presided over by chief magistrate Francis Dawa Matenga was full to capacity and heavily guarded by security agencies when suspects Ali Tembo, Jaffari Mazze and Gideon Bwambale was charged with terrorism and attempted murder of James Muhimbira the Giso Buhurura sub county in Kasese
The trial of 11 suspects arrested in relation to the post-election violence in Kasese that left about 15 people dead started on 21st April at Kasese chief magistrate court.
Others Nelson Bwambale, Alex Baluku , January Kule, Alex Muhindo, Juma Muleki, John Nsimbaza were charged with aggravated robbery and attempted murder.
Prosecution led by state Attorney Mike Kwesiga explain the suspect inflicted body harm to commissioner of police Jacob Opolot while overseas an operation at Kisenyi trading center in Buhurura sub county and disarm police constable Joel Mbusi of his AK 47 riffles among other charges.
Court was adjourned to until 5th may 2016 to enable prosecution gather more evidence.
The March 10, incident which broke out in Buhuhira and Kikongo villages in Hima Town Council after elections that led to loss of lives and destruction of property. In a statement issued by police in connection with recent incidents of violence in Kasese and Bundibugyo districts, Gen Kayihura said the attackers, who were killed, were members of a militia group linked to Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu cultural institution, calling themselves “Kirumiramutima” (strong-hearted).
The inspector general of police Gen Kale Kayihura has carried out a min reshuffle of police bosses the western district of Kasese.
Mohamed Kirumira has been transferred from Bweera to Old Kampala as DPC, Ochamulinga Emmanuel who has been Old Kampala DPC has been transferred to the directorate of operation at police headquarters Naguru.
Deo Obora has been transferred from Sezibwa region to Kasese as RPC for Rwenzori east, while Kagarura Bob from Rwenzori east to Ssezibwa region as RPC.
Others are , Odongo Sam who has been transferred from Luka to Kasese municipal division as DPc , Mwesigye Vicent is now the DPC for Bwera, Ssubi Sam has been transferred from lira to Hima as Dpc and Baganzi Julius confirmed DPC Katwe.
The police spokespersons Fred Enanga says the transfers take immediate effect and are aimed at responding to the security crisis in Kasese district.
James was attacked by a gang of men welding machetes at a bar Tuesday night 8:00pm. James Mulhumbira was in the company of his brother Johnson Mulhumbira at a bar that sells a local drink called malwa in in Kisanga Market (also known as Mawa).
James was stabbed twice in the neck by his attackers and his arm hacked. Johnson was stabbed in the back during the same attack.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says the victims were rushed to Kilembe Mines Hospital for treatment. Enanga says that although out of surgery, Mulhumbira has not yet regained consciousness. His injuries are said to be serious.
Enanga says witness descriptions point to Mulhumbira’s attackers as a militia attached to the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu. However, Obusingwa bwa Rwenzururu has strongly denied any links to the militia.
One of the revelers whose identity hasn’t yet been established also lost his arm in the attack and is currently nursing wounds at Kilembe mines hospital. Mulhumbira is believed to have been attacked to avenge the shooting to death of four people in Kasenyi in Buhuhira Sub County on Friday last week.
The four civilians were shot dead in clashes with security.
Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party officials in Kasese are considering suing individual police officers and security personnel for extra judicial killings in the district.
The officials accuse security personnel of shooting to death four people at Kasenyi Trading Center on Friday claiming that they were attacking security officers yet they were enjoying their leisure under a back tree.
The deceased are James Wayakwa, Saleri Kake, Nason Sagini and Jockas Kiremberwa. William Nzoghu, the Busongora North Member of parliament told journalists on Sunday that the four men were passing time under the tree when they were led by security personnel led by James Mulumbira, the Gombolola Internal Security Officer for the neighboring Kyabarungira sub-county who pointed out at whoever was to be shot.
According to Nzoghu, Sam Katikiro the GISO of Buhuhira sub-county was also present during the raid. Nzoghu squarely blames the death of the four men on Bob Kagarura, Rwenzori East Regional Police Commander, Commissioner of Police, Jacob Opolot, the two GISOs and some crime preventers in the area.
Nzoghu says they intend to instruct the FDC legal team to file a suit against the implicated security officers for the murder of innocent civilians. Geoffrey Sibendire, the Kasese LC 5 Chairperson elect wonders how people who were not armed were shot by police officers who had all the machinery to arrest them.
According to Sibendire, the residents of Kasese are losing trust in police to protect them whenever they get a problem. Robert Centenary, the Kasese Municipality MP elect faults police Chief Kale Kayihura for failing to visit the scene where the residents were gunned down even when he has camped in the district since Saturday evening.
He says police has gone to stir anxiety among residents by claiming that the deceased were shot while trying to disarm police officers in order to wage war against government. He says the claim has raised suspicion between government and the Bakonzo.
Bob Kagarura, the Rwenzori East Police Commander says there is no way the FDC leaders can sue him for ordering the killings of civilians because the force that went to Kasenyi trading center was led by Commissioner of Police, Jacob Opolot who is of a higher rank than him.
Kaharura accuses the political leaders of looking for sympathy from their voters after failing to work with security to calm down the situation in Kasese.
He wondered why the leaders have remained silent in the case of two people who were shot dead after attacking a joint police and army patrol in Hima town council on Thursday evening. Four UPDF soldiers were injured in the attack.