The police and military agencies have been repeatedly accused of killing more than 100 people in November 2016, when their forces descended on the Rwenzururu Palace, at the climax of long-standing tension, between the government of Uganda and the Rwenzururu Kingdom, the home of the ethnic Bakonzo community.
A claimant to the Rwenzururu Kingdom throne has been allocated armed protection from the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces UPDF, raising eyebrows over the fate of Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere. Robert Tibamwenda has also been introduced, at least twice, as the king of the Bakonzo at public functions in the last five months. Since November 2016, Mumbere has not stepped in Kasese or any part of his kingdom after he was arrested during a military raid on his palace.
Over a year after Kasese district was plunged into a conflict that cost hundreds of lives; widows and orphans call for help as they struggle to make ends meet. The military raid on Rwenzururu king Charles Wesley Mumberes palace on November 26th and 27th 2016 left more than 100 people dead and families robbed of their breadwinners.
Relatives of people killed in last years attacks in Kasese district are yet to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones. More than 100 people mostly royal guards were killed when the Uganda People Defence Forces-UPDF soldiers attacked Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumberes Buhikira palace. Fourteen police officers were also killed in different parts of the district.
There is heavy deployment of army personnel and police in Kasese town as residents remember the death of more than 100 people in clashes between state security agencies and royal guards at the Rwenzururu kingdom palace. Tomorrow will mark exactly one year since the two-day raid on the palace which climaxed with the arrest of the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere and 161 others.
At least 52 bodies Rwenzururu royal guards who were killed during the November 2016 attack on Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumberes palace are yet to be claimed, almost a year after they were buried in a military barracks. More than 100 people are believed to have died when the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces- UPDF under the command of the then Second Division Commander, Major General Peter Elwelu, raided Rwenzururu palace in Kasese town.
In November, armed youth groups of Esyomango syObusinga, a youth group associated with Rwenzururu Kingdom terrorised residents in Karangura sub county. They carried out illegal night foot patrols, collected taxes in form of chicken, goats, and money and food items from the residents. The attacks in Kabarole culminated in the raid on the palace of the Rwenzururu King in Kasese district on November 26 and 27 in which more than 100 people died and Mumbere and hundreds of his royal guards arrested.
There is a rift within the Rwenzururu royal family as the Queen Mother Christine Mukirania seeks to lead a breakaway faction opposed to her son, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere. In an exclusive interview with URN at her home in Kigali cell, Nyakabingo ward in Kasese Municipality, the Queen Mother says there is need for the rest of the royal family to separate from Mumbere because he has drifted away from the original agenda set by his late father Isaya Mukirania.
Musoki was arrested on November 27 alongside Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere and more than 180 other royal guards, with whom they are charged with terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery and attempted murder.
The juveniles, aged between 15 and 17 have been granted non-conditional bail by Chief Magistrate John Francis Kaggwa, following the submission by defence lawyers challenging their continued detention. The suspects had been on remand for more than three months.
Senior police officers in the Rwenzori region have mourned the late Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi. During the Kasese clashes in November last year, Kaweesi pitched camp in Kasese for more than a week, where he often briefed the media about the developments on the conflict.
Robert Bwambale Tibamwenda, who hails from Nsenyi village in Kisinga Sub County in Kasese district, came out last week saying that he will return on March 4, 2017 as the Rwenzururu king. He claimed that Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere has not been able to revive the cultural values of Bakonzo but rather engaged in politics.
Prosecution led by Rachael Bikhole told Jinja Chief Magistrate John Francis Kaggwa, that the state had adduced enough evidence to pin the suspects. They face 41 counts of treason, terrorism, murder, attempted murder, and aggravated robbery.
High Court in Jinja has set Friday, January 13 to decide on the bail application filed by Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere. Mumbere has been in jail since his arrest on November 27 last year, when the army raided his palace. More than 100 people died during the clashes.
Johnson Kamalha, a businessman in Kasese town says that the people in Kasese should be proud of Mbadis promotion. He explains that it is the first time for a Mukonzo to be among the top brass in the army leadership.
Rachael Bikhole, the principal state attorney from the Directorate of Public Prosecution objected to the bail hearing, saying since the King is also facing terrorism, his application should be heard by the International Crimes Division of the High Court that has the jurisdiction over terrorism cases.
During the meeting between President Museveni and MPs on Wednesday at his farm in Kisozi in Gomba district, the legislators also demanded for the Omusingas unconditional release, as well as those of more than 150 royal guards also on remand in Luzira prison.