Rwenzururu King Speaks Out On Rwenzori Attacks

Omusinga wa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere
Omusinga wa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere

Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere has broken the silence on the recent attacks in the Rwenzori region in which over 70 people were killed.

Addressing a press conference at his Buhikira palace in Kasese town shortly after the arrest of two of his ministers on Thursday morning, Mumbere said that the government is chasing the wrong enemy by linking his Kingdom to the Saturday attacks in Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko districts.

Rwenzururu Prime Minister Noah Nzaghale and the Minister for tourism Erisa Mwincubere were picked up at about 9am today from the kingdom offices in Kasese town.

President Yoweri Museveni and General Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police had issued statements linking the attackers to the Rwenzururu Kingdom that is allegedly fighting tribal wars.

But Mumbere said that the people who attacked on Saturday should be part of his Kingdom’s enemies who did not want him recognized and that they may be looking for means of having the government abolish the institution.

He warned government from being biased in handling cultural issues in the Rwenzori region but rather take the task of leading or mediating the reconciliation process.

Mumbere said the decision to arrest the Prime Minister and other officials was hash because no one in the Kingdom including himself is willing to be interviewed at peace as police continue hunting for the wrong elements.

Responding to comments by President Museveni that the Rwenzururu Kingdom was to operate only in Kasese, Mumbere said he does not recall agreeing with the president over the matter because his subjects are across the region.

Asked about claims that the attackers might have been on a mission of waging a rebellion for the Bakonzo to secede from Uganda and form an Independent State, the King said that such are enemies of his Kingdom’s peace and stability.

Last year, an unsigned document circulated on the streets of Kasese purportedly authored by British writer and Mumbere’s friend Tom Stancy saying the United Nations had granted the Bakonzo a state called the Yira Republic. Yira is another name for Bakonzo. On this Mumbere said that document was authored by some of the people who have for a long time opposed the Rwenzururu Kingdom.

Meanwhile, security at Mumbere’s palace was beefed up on Thursday by the royal guards after he had reportedly received threats that the police was planning to raid it and arrest him.

The King who was putting on a military cap by the time of the Press Conference said he decided to appear military attire because as a professional soldier he did not want to be taken unaware.

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