Drama continues to unfold in Kasese as Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere storms out of his palace despite heavy police deployment meant to stop him from traveling to Bundibugyo.
Mumbere was blocked by the government from visiting Bundibugyo district where he was supposed to preside over the Kingdom’s Peace Day this weekend.
Just hours after police deployed at the palace outside Kasese town and disarmed Mumbere’s guards, the King tried to walk out of the palace, but he was blocked just about two hundred meters as he approached the Kilembe road to access Kasese town on foot.
Police say the order of the government for him not to go to Bundibugyo still stands.
According to the Police Deputy spokesperson Patrick Onyango, Mumbere is being requested to go back to the palace.
However, Mumbere insists he will camp at the place of interception until he is allowed to proceed to Bundibugyo or stay there for the number of days he would spend out of the palace.
At the moment, the district chairman Lt. Col. Mawa Muhindo, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner Aminadabu Muhindo and Kasese town mayor Godfrey Kabyanga are trying in vain to convince the King to go back to the palace but in vain.
Our reporter in Kasese says police has started firing teargas in the town to disperse crowds that had gathered waiting for instructions from the palace.
Earlier today, two police officers were detained for opening fire on a rowdy crowd along the streets of Kasese town as people tried to stage a demonstration in support of the King.
The Deputy Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango says the two officers opened fire without commanding orders as boda boda riders confronted the police officers on patrol. There were no causalities as police managed to cool the boda boda riders and none of the civilians has been arrested, according to Onyango.
Asked about why the King’s palace north of Kasese town has been put under siege, the Police deputy PRO said there was intelligence information that Mumbere would force himself out onto the streets to lead his subjects to Bundibugyo district.
This comes just a day after police chief, General Kale Kayihura blocked Mumbere from visiting Bundibugyo for a Peace Day event. The Bamba and Babwisi, who form the majority in Bundibugyo, early this month protested the Rwenzururu King’s visit accusing him of imposing himself on them. A similar a year ago resulted into clashes between Bamba and Bakonzo leaving at least 400 people displaced.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura, who is camped in the district since Thursday, has met with managers of the three local FM radio stations urging them not to incite violence.
Speaking from Margarita Hotel where he is camped since Thursday, Gen. Kayihura said there is no way the people of Kasese will turn against the order of the president unless they are incited by the media.
He said the media houses risk committing crimes similar to those that led to the closure of CBS radio back in 2009 when the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II was barred from visiting Kayunga district. The radio was closed for over a year.
The Acting Prime Minister Ivan Syauswa was reportedly drafting a document to release to the media concerning the Kingdom’s final stand on the matter.