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Why The Omusinga Is Not Yet Free After Five Years Of His Arrest

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Rwenzururu The New Light Paper

Omusinga (king) Charles Wesley Mumbere, the cultural leader of Rwenzururu Kingdom, and his royal guards were arrested after a Uganda army assault on his palace that left over 100 humans lifeless.

Hours before the deadly attack, the kingdom management were given a one hour ultimatum to give up the royal guards that were suspected of causing insecurity inside the area. The king changed into adamant.

At 1:00 PM of November 27, 2016 the palace was burnt down by using the army and the king with masses of his subjects had been arrested.

Five years after his became arrested together with a number of his royal guards, Omusinga, is still attempting to find justice. A convoluted judicial machine and the complicated political landscape of the Rwenzori location are being blamed.

Amidst the uncertainty, it appears, the emergence of a brand new breed of NRM cadres in Rwenzori mountains place is supplying wish. Unlike within the past, their method to resolving the predicament Omusinga and some of his subjects find themselves is political and not militaristic. Finally, it appears, the years of incarceration have led the Rwenzururu leader and his subjects to realize the position of negotiations in resolving tensions.

The old NRM cadres inside the area, who’re close to President Yoweri Museveni and accept as true with in military approach, stay. These want the king and his subjects to answer the crimes in court. But the new cadres also have a powerful lobby and connections inside Museveni’s inner circle. And, it appears, Museveni has not proven his favour but.

“It seems the President is watching from a distance,” says a supply acquainted with the goings-on of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) saga.

History of the popularity of the Rwenzururu nation suggests that President Museveni has frequently operated underneath the cover of vicinity NRM cadres to determine a contentious issue. Before, his government formally recognised OBR, he regularly argued that the matter was to be decided via the Kasese and Bundibugyo districts NRM cadres. This became even when the 2005 Kajura Commission, headed by then-First Deputy Prime Minister Henry Kajura, stated that eighty five% of the people of Rwenzori wanted their kingdom to be recognised.

Today, proponents of the political option to the OBR query argue that up to now they’ve mobilised the Rwenzururu place to vote for the ruling NRM birthday celebration. Indeed, within the latest 2021 elections the NRM birthday party secured three parliamentary seats in Kasese and President Yoweri Museveni garnered most people votes against his warring parties in Kasese district not like in 2016 elections.

Amidst all this drama, the negative OBR topics languishing in jail are caught in the center. So far 9 of the suspects arrested with king have died in jail. And the human beings of Rwenzururu pass over the near presence in their king.

Much because the High Court in Jinja presided over by using Justice Eva Luswata granted bail to Omusinga (king), and his former Prime Minister Thembo Kitsumbire in January 2017, their actions are constrained to Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso districts. These stringent bail conditions have correctly left Omusinga in a sort of residence arrest. He has by no means set foot in Kasese, the base of his nation, due to the fact November 2016. Even while his mom died in 2019, Mumbere couldn’t attend the burial a good deal as courtroom had cleared him to tour for this burial.

Prior to the 2021 elections there was anticipation the Rwenzururu king could be launched but government launched on bail 132 suspects out of 200 in December 2020 as a substitute. It is believed the 132, who blanketed palace cooks, home workers and royal guards were suspected to have committed much less serious crimes.

The ultimate 70 suspects in one of a kind jails in Uganda are ready their day in court or what can also pop out of any talks or negotiations between the government and OBR.

Although the crimes for which the accused face charges were allegedly committed over five years ago, the prosecution side has taken years investigating them. This could be followed by a convoluted referral system as the case moves to an appropriate trial court. The large number of suspects, with each one’s file having to be ready and sanctioned compounds the delay. Then there are the operational roadblocks, such as when a critical judicial officer handling the case takes leave from work. Besides, the courts in Uganda suffer serious case backlog and the reasons for higher case backlog have not spared the Rwenzuru kingdom case.

The main reason why the trial (of Omusinga and his subjects) has not taken place is because there are negotiations with government underway. This is what has made the trial process to move on slowly, says Alfred Makasi, Rwenzururu’s legal advisor.

Makasi is describing a common practice whereby there was an opportunity for an out of court settlement of a case . The leadership of Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) opted to give this a try. A team from OBR and the central government has been working behind the scenes to have a negotiated settlement of this matter.

In the negotiations among the demands the OBR put in place was the need to facilitate the construction of the home of the king that was destroyed in the attack by the army and the unconditional release of the jailed royal guards arrested in 2016.

Indeed, the Rwenzururu prime minister recently announced that the Government of Uganda had purchased land in Kasese district where a home for the king will be constructed. Also, government agreed to release the royal guards in a phased manner. From the look of things, it would seem the talks are bearing fruits. But there are detractors.

“For instance, when some information leaked that Omusinga was about to be released, some people from Rwenzori mountains wrote to the President arguing that that would be a mistake to release a rebel,” Makasi told The Independent; adding that: “Since then we decided to be very discreet. OBR presented its side to the government and we are waiting for Government to decide.”

Makasi urged the lovers of the OBR to keep calm and keep peace to allow the conclusion of the negotiation. “Even when faced with provocation, they should remain cool. Those spreading false information about OBR should stop but even in such situations our people should remain peaceful,” Makasi said.

Rwenzururu kingdom has now embarked on a rebranding initiative. Among the recent activities was the planting of trees to save the environment during the commemoration of the coronation of its king on October 19. The kingdom has also circulated its officially recognised flag.

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