Rwenzururu kingdom prime minister released on bail, court sets conditions

By Sania Babirye
The Rwenzururu kingdom Prime Minister Thembo Kitsumbire has been released on bail. Jinja High court  judge Eva Luswata granted  Kitusumbire   a non -cash bail of 75 million shillings while his  sureties entered into a non cash bond  of 100 million shillings each.
Court set other  bail conditions  similar to those  set for the temporary release of  the Rwenzururu king  Charles Wesely Mumbere. Kitsumbire’s movements have been   restricted to districts forming the Kasese region. While releasing Kitsumbire on bail, court put into consideration  his  advanced age of 62 , grave illness ;  hypertension, ulcers  and  prostate related problems which cannot be handled in prison.
 The Rwenzururu kingdom premier has been   on remand at Luzira prison since December last year  on  charges of murder, terrorism  and  treason  in connection with  November 2016 violence  in Kasese district that left more than 100  people dead.  . He is charged   alongside Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere and more than 170 royal guards.

Mumbere’s subjects hope that he will be released today following discussions with State

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.

 

 

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Mumbere appears at Jinja high court amid tight security

By  Sania Babirye
Charles Wesley Mumbere the Rwenzururu cultural leader has arrived at Jinja High court amid tight security for his bail hearing.
All roads leading to the high court have been sealed off with a few people who have been allowed to access court being thoroughly checked by security personnel.  High court judge Eva Luswata handling the application filed by the Rwenzururu cultural leader.
Mumbere together with other 160 people including his royal guards women and children are charged with terrorism, treason, murder ,robbery ,attempted murder and malicious damage to property in relation to last year’s  Kasese violence that  left more than  100 people dead. It’s alleged that they committed the offences between the months of March and November 2016. Mumbere is currently on remand at  Luzira maximum prison.

Police declare Rwenzururu kingdom and Admin offices out of bounds

The Rwenzururu kingdom palace and its administrative offices will remain closed until police investigations into the Kasese clashes are completed, the Rwenzori East Police Spokesperson, Sowed Mansur has disclosed. According to Mansur, no Obusinga official will be allowed to access both places since they are still regarded as crime scenes.
Asked whether the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere will be allowed to access the palace and offices should he be granted bail, Mansur said that Mumbere would only be allowed to use his royal residence in Kampala. Currently, the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu has opened new administration offices in Kasese town. The Kingdom rents a two roomed office space at Divine Guest house on Henry Bwambale road in Kasese Town as an emergency office as they look at means of accessing the original kingdom administration offices on Alexander Street.
The Obusinga offices were closed by security forces on November 26, 2016 following a joint raid by Uganda People’s Defense Forces and police, which claimed the lives of eight people. Enock Muhindo, the Speaker of the Obusinga House of Representatives, told URN recently that they decided to open new offices to allow them run kingdom activities.
Muhindo says the emergency offices will be used to coordinate activities of the institution especially peace negotiations. He explains that basing on the detention of the king and the prime minister, he had to sit down with some clan leaders to work out procedures of how to gain peace and restore hope among kingdom subjects.
King Mumbere, his prime Minister and 161 royal guards were remanded to Luzira Prisons on 41 counts including murder, treason, aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property among others.
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UPDF DENIES REPORTS OF WITHDRAWING GUARDS

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.