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Expedite Mumbere's Trial; Kasese Leaders Demand

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Kasese District LC V Chairperson, Geoffrey Sibendire Bigogo, said it is unfortunate that close to three years after the arrest of the suspects, they have remained in detention without trial. Biigogo told URN that government had committed itself to screen all the suspects such that those who are innocent can be set free in vain.

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Leaders in Kasese district have called for the expeditious trial of Rwenzururu King, Charles Wesley Mumbere and his royal guards. Mumbere together with 203 royal guards were picked up in a joint security raid on Buhikira Royal Palace in Kasese town in November 2016.   

More than 100 people were killed in the raid involving Uganda Police and Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers. The security agencies accused Mumbere of harbouring elements behind the raid on military installations in the area. The group was arraigned in court on a number of charges including murder, terrorism, arson, malicious damage and treason.   

Although Mumbere, his Prime Minister, John Thembo Kitsumbire and six youths were granted bail, the royal guards and palace employees are still on remand in Kirinya and Luzira government prisons. Four of the royal guards died in prison. 

The latest is Zakaliya Bwambale Sonderya, Mumbere’s chief royal guard who succumbed to chronic urine retention on Friday, according to Uganda Prisons Spokesperson, Frank Baine. Sonderya has been the eldest royal guard in the Kingdom. He is a Rwenzururu Movement Veteran who fought with Rwenzururu Kingdom’s founding King, Isaya Mukirania who also doubles as Mumbere’s father.

His body was laid to rest in Kanyatsi East Cel in Mairu Ikumi ward in Kinyamaseke town council over the weekend. Various leaders noted that it is high time the trial of Mumbere and his royal guards is expedited so that the innocent ones can regain their freedom. 

Kasese District LC V Chairperson, Geoffrey Sibendire Bigogo, said it is unfortunate that close to three years after the arrest of the suspects, they have remained in detention without trial. Biigogo told URN that the government had committed itself to screen all the suspects such that those who are innocent can be set free in vain. 

//Cue in; “From what we ….” 

Cue out…. the trial begins.”//

The Kasese Woman Member of Parliament, Winnie Kiiza questioned why a government which at the time of raiding palace claimed to have evidence implicating Mumbere and his royal guards on several cases including treason, has failed to facilitate their trial for three years.

She said it could in the interest of the government to hold the suspects in prison for long so as to kill not only their spirit but also that of all the people of Kasese to demand their rights.

//Cue in; “Since the arrest…”

Cue out…kill their spirits.”//

Kiiza appealed to government to appreciate the fact many of the people who are in prison are the Rwenzururu Kingdom and may not necessarily be criminals.

In his message delivered at the funeral by Gadi Mbayahi, chairperson Prime Ministerial Commission of the kingdom, the Rwenzururu King, Charles Wesley Mumbere asked his people to pray and work towards the full restoration of peace in the Rwenzori region, which has for many years suffered from a series of conflicts.

Mumbere also appealed to his subjects to lead responsible lifestyles that will not expose them to infections and diseases especially cancers, which he said are leading to the death of many people.

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