Charles Wesley Mumbere, who was arrested in 2016 along with more than 200 of his royal guards after an attack on the palace, made a triumphant entry into Kasese town.
OMUSINGA WAS RWENZURURU, HIS MAJESTY CHARLES MUMBERE ARRIVING IN COMPANY OF HIS WIFE BEFORE THOUSANDS OF SUBJECTS WHO COVERGED TO WELCOME HIM IN KASESE DISTRICT ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 04
The Return of a King
Charles Wesley Mumbere, the cultural leader of the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu, has finally returned home after a prolonged absence of nearly seven years. The Omusinga (king) was barred from accessing his kingdom as part of his bail conditions after he was charged with treason, murder, attempted murder, and other charges. This followed his arrest and detention during the raid by joint security forces on his palace in November 2016. But with the charges dropped, the king is now free to return to his kingdom, a moment that has stirred excitement among his subjects.
A Homecoming Fit for a King
The chairperson of the committee organising the king’s homecoming, Dr Nathaniel Mumbere Walemba, confirmed readiness to receive the Omusinga. Some of the king’s subjects began gathering in Kasese in anticipation of his arrival. On Royal Hill, the subjects were putting the finishing touches on the construction of royal huts, which represent the kingdom parliament. Some subjects were also drumming and singing cultural songs to welcome their king.
The Omusinga and the Nyabaghole (queen) are expected to land at Kasese airfield aboard a chartered aircraft. From there, they will head to their temporary royal residence at Mbogo Road in Muyenga, Kasese Municipality. Here, cultural rituals welcoming the king are expected to be performed. At 1pm, Mumbere will make his way to the Golf Course in Bulembia Division, Kasese Municipality, where he is set to address his subjects.
A Historical Perspective
Rwenzururu was established in 1962 as the result of the secessionist Rwenzururu movement by the Bakonzo people in the mountainous region of western Uganda. The revolt was led by Mumbere’s father, Isaya Mukirane, who was recognized as the region’s king. Mumbere inherited the title at age 13 and assumed the position of king at age 18 on the 19th October 1966.
When he was 30, he made an agreement with the government of Uganda by which the government sent him to the United States for an education. He obtained political asylum in the United States in 1987, received nurse’s aide training, and began working in a nursing home in suburban Maryland near Washington, D.C. He later moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he continued as a nurse’s aide according to bnn
The Court seven years ago barred Omusinga from accessing his kingdom as part of his bail conditions after he was charged with treason, murder, attempted murder and other charges after he was arrested and detained when his Buhikira Royal Palace in Kasese was raided by joint security forces in November 2016.
During the attack, the Mumbere, together with more than 200 royal guards, and some kingdom officials were arrested and imprisoned as the attack left more than 100 people dead and scores injured.
Prior to the palace attack, top security chiefs in the country alleged that the palace was training royal guards to destabilise the country and he had been told to disband the guards, but in vain.
However, with the charges recently dropped by DPP, the Rwenzururu King was declared a free man to return to his kingdom which excited his subjects to welcome him yesterday afternoon.
The Omusinga’s homecoming function was organized by a committee headed by Dr Nathaniel Mumbere Walemba, who led the crowds lining up on the streets in Kasese to welcome Mumbere.
The Omusinga and the Nyabaghole (queen) arrived at Kasese airfield aboard a chartered aircraft at around 11 am and headed straight to their temporary royal residence at Mbogo Road in Muyenga, Kasese Municipality where cultural rituals welcoming the king were performed.
At 1 pm, the Mumbere made his way to the Golf Course in Bulembia Division, Kasese Municipality, where he addressed thousands of his gathering subjects.
While addressing the audience, His Majesty, King Charles Wesley Mumbere Irama-Ngoma applauded the people of Rwenzuru for their unending love towards the kingdom.
The king further applauded officials including legislators in the district for staying close during the herd times the kingdom passed through.
He also acknowledged cultural leaders for upholding the kingdom even when it has financial challenges but persists in ensuring that our identity stands. The Omusinga finally appreciated God for laying off the burden of charges that were slapped against him along with the royal guards.
The Bishop of South Ruwenzori diocese, Rt Rev Zerebende Thembo Jackson who led the prayers praised God for causing such happiness in the Rwenzori region and said that in this rebranded kingdom the Obusinga should have a ministry that will coordinate church leaders to the kingdom.
Rev Zerebende tasked everyone in the kingdom to support all the programs that will be laid down to uplift the kingdom to the next level.
The Bishop also revealed that the kingdom is set to launch a five-point program which includes tourism, peacebuilding, reconciliation, developmental cultural norms and empowering education, to shine the kingdom and be an example of a good tourist home in Uganda.
Representing the government, the State Minister for ICT, Hon Godfrey Kabbyanga Baluku who hails from Kasese spoke joy of the King’s homecoming saying; “We are all thrilled to have him back and look forward to resuming our strong and mutual partnership with him,”
“We must acknowledge the efforts of the NRM Government in ensuring that our King returns to his rightful place in his Kingdom,” Minister Kabbyanga emphasised, adding, “It is through our tireless negotiations and consideration of the social & cultural significance of his return that this day has finally come to pass.”
Hon Sowedi Kitanywathe, the MP Busongora North Constituency in Kasese in his speech preached unity, peace, mindset change, reconciliation and social-economic transformation as key issues to emphasize in the rebuilding of the Kingdom’s legacy.
Another MP, Gideon Tembo Mujungu (Busongora South) applauded the government for releasing the king together with others. He added that although the day shall always be remembered on what happened to this kingdom, he implored the subjects of the Rwenzururu kingdom to reconcile and start a new journey which should aim at developing the kingdom.
The Kasese District Woman MP, Hon Florence Kabugho in her remarks to the media said that even though happiness is everywhere in the kingdom, the government should consider the renovation of the palace since it was the one which bombed it.
Ms Kabugho also tasked the government to involve the recently released royal guards, widows who lost their husbands during the 2016 attack and orphans in government programs including PDM Emyooga among others.
Christopher Kibanzanga Bwambale the chief prince asked the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu subjects to forget the seven years of pain but focus on a new re-branded kingdom.
Christopher added that the coming of King Charles back to his kingdom is an indication of reconciliation with government powers which he said will pave a bright future for the young children in the kingdom.
Locals who were bursting with happiness at the homecoming of the king, praised God for his unending love, saying they had grown weary but because of God’s, he has brought back the king.
Source:bnn and Daily Express