There is calm at Jinja High Court where Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere is expected for his bail application hearing.
Mumbere’s previous appearances have been characterised by heavy security deployment, closing of some roads and restricted access to court premises. Today there is open access to court, no security deployment and roads have not been closed.
Mumbere was initially granted bail on the 13th January by High Court judge Eva Luswata. He was however, re-arrested immediately upon release and slapped with fresh charges.
Meanwhile there is hope among the Rwenzururu kingdom subjects after the kingdom officials negotiated with the state for Mumbere’s release today.
Clearance Bwambale, the Rwenzururu Spokesperson, told URN that members of the royal family including Mumbere’s brother and Agriculture state minister Christopher Kibanzanga, will stand surety for the king. According to Bwambale, the state wasn’t impressed when opposition politicians stood surety for Mumbere during the first bail application.
Some of the Members of Parliament from Kasese have been at court as early as 9am and are still waiting for Mumbere to appear in court.
Mumbere applied for bail citing ill health, advanced age and having a place of abode in Munyonyo, Kampala where he would stay in case he was granted bail.
Mumbere was remanded together with his Prime Minister, Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire and 161 royal guards to Luzira Prisons in November last year over the Kasese clashes, which claimed the lives of more than 100 people.
They face 41 counts including treason, terrorism, murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) raided Mumbere’s palace in Kasese on the weekend of November 26th and 27th after the king reportedly refused to hand over some of his guards. The state accuses the guards of being behind violent attacks on civilians and security installations in the Rwenzori region.
The Uganda People’s Defense Forces has denied reports of withdrawing guards attached to the Rwenzururu kingdom.
This follows Sunday’s clashes between the Rwenzururu traditional royal guards and UPDF soldiers that left four people dead
The 2nd division army spokesperson Maj Ronald Kakurungu says the UPDF presence is mandated by the constitution.
Kakurungu said the army has arleady met with omusinga to agree on command structure of his security detail and collected 3 guns but no withdraw has been made. He says they are now focused on harmonise the operation on both traditional royal guards and UPDF Soldiers to prevent further clashes.