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Rwenzururu Palace Still a Crime Scene 1-Year Later

Richard Tusingwire, the Regional Police Commander Rwenzori East says that the palace and administration offices are still crime scenes and remain cordoned off.
26 Nov 2017 16:46
Today marks one year since the Uganda Peoples Defence Force-UPDF launched an assault on Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere's Buhikira palace in Kasese town.

The attack led to the death of more than 100 royal guards and Mumbere's arrest. The palace located a kilometer away from Kasese town is now a shadow of its past, a year after it was attacked.

URN reporters in Kasese were on Sunday morning given a rare access of only five minutes inside the palace by police officers. Outside the palace, Barricades manned by the army and police have been erected 200 meters away from the main entrance.

There is also no sight of the huts outside the palace which accommodated royal guards. They were all burnt during the attack.

Inside the palace grass has overgrown in the vast compound. There is no indication that it was once a royal palace. There are also remains of seven small grass thatched huts which belonged to the royal guards.

The large grass thatched building that housed the Rwenzururu Parliament and storage of royal regalia is no more. No single remains of the building can be traced.

The main house with a royal emblem of the Obusinga remains intact. The windows and walls however have bullet holes. A glance inside the house reveals abandoned chairs, tables and other household items belonging to the Omusinga. The Omusinga's bedroom and office remain closed.  Dirt and dust are all in the corners of the house. The grey paint has all peeled off.

Behind the main house, there are burnt remains of small houses that housed female royal guards.

The condition of the palace is not any different from the Rwenzururu Administration offices located on Alexander Street.  It was at the offices that four royal guards were killed after they resisted attempts by the army and police to gain access to the offices.

The offices are abandoned but are being guarded by police officers.  The words 'Offices of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Kingdom' that were inscripted on the wall are no more. The windows and walls have bullet holes. 

Clarence Bwambale, the Rwenzururu Kingdom Spokesperson says that they want the palace and administration offices returned to the institution for reconstruction. He explains that the institution has no identity after the raid on the palace and destruction of the royal regalia.

Richard Tusingwire, the Regional Police Commander Rwenzori East says that the palace and administration offices are still crime scenes and remain cordoned off. He however refused to disclose for how long it will remain closed.

Prior to the palace attack, security officers alleged that the palace was a training ground for royal guards who planned to destabilize the country. Mumbere had earlier been told to disband the guards in vain.

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