Excitement Builds as Rwenzururu King Returns to Kasese After Charges Dropped

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The Rwenzori region is filled with excitement as thousands eagerly await the triumphant return of Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere to Kasese. King Mumbere and over 200 subjects were arrested in 2016 on various charges, but the charges were dropped this year, allowing his return.

The king of Rwenzururu the Omusinga and his wife

Huge excitement is an understatement as one describes the mood in the Rwenzori region, as thousands wait for the triumph return of Omusinga.

Thousands gathered in various trading centers of the entire Kasese district on Tuesday expressing their joy with Kikonzo cultural dance.

Many interviewed said that they had lost hope of seeing him alive.

King Charles Wesley Mumbere and over 200 subjects were arrested and remanded at Kirinya government prison on November 16, 2016, over allegations of murders, terrorism, and aggravated robbery but had charges dropped later this year granting him permission to access Kasese again.

Preparations are in high gear for the return of the Rwenzururu King, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere back to his Kingdom.

According to the chairperson of the homecoming organising committee, Dr Nathaniel Mumbere Walemba, the king will jet into the kingdom aboard a plane by the kingdom authorities.

“The Omusinga will fly into Kasese aerodrome at 11.00am on October 4, where he will be received by kingdom officials and other dignitaries.

“We have chartered a plane to bring the king,” said Walemba, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Kasese town-based Rwenzori International University.

Dr Walemba told New Vision Online that the royal entourage will arrive in two phases starting with the Crown Prince, who will land at 8am.

“The king will then fly in three hours later,” Walemba said.

He said the royal family would then be driven to a government-rented residence in Kasese Municipality which will serve as the provisional palace for refreshments at lunch.

Thereafter, the Omusinga will be driven to the Kilembe Golf Club course to address the public,” Walemba said.

He said this would be later followed by a dinner at the Hotel Margherita.

The Omusinga’s return has sparked off jubilations across the Rwenzori region.

The Omusinga has been out of the kingdom since November 27, 2016, when he and over 200 of his subjects, including his former security detail known as royal guards, were arrested in a joint security raid on his palace in Kasese town.

The king and his accused were charged with various criminal offences.

The king secured Court bail in 2017 but was confined in a Kampala residence rented by the Government and restricted from visiting the kingdom.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions, (DPP) dropped all the charges against the King and 217 others, saying the state had lost interest in the case.

The state granted the accused amnesty, opening the gates to their freedom.

On October 19, the King is also slated to commemorate his first coronation anniversary in nearly seven years.

Juliet Best Bakoko, the vice chairperson Omusinga homecoming committee said as they long to have the Omusinga back home, it is a golden opportunity for the Banyarwenzururu to embrace peace, unity and transformation as they cordially work with the government of Uganda to ensure development for the people.

“Now that he was set free and we are receiving him tomorrow, it is now a chance for us to embrace peace, unity, and transformation,” she said on Tuesday.

Amos Masereka, a boda boda rider and resident of Bugoye Sub County said that the culture of the Bakonjo had started to fade, indicating that in the reign of the Omusinga before the 2016 conflicts, he had laid a lot of strategies aimed at promoting the culture and identity of the Banyarwenzuuru.

Ferigo Kambale, the area Member of Parliament and the host of all events, especially the Omusinga’s stay thanked the government for bringing a smile to thousands of Kings Mumbere’s subjects, especially dropping all charges against him, and now allowing him to once again settle in Kasese as he takes charge of his people.

He added that the coming of the Omusinga will greatly be crucial in implementing most of the government programs, especially the recent one (Parish Development Model), therefore, improving people’s livelihood.

“As leaders, we are going to closely work with him to implement government programs the fact most people believe in him,” Ferigo said.

Nelson Tumushiime, the Rwenzori East Police spokesperson, said they have deployed in various parts of the region to ensure safety of the people and their properties.

He also indicated that only the royal family members and a few earmarked delegates will be allowed to access the Kasese airfield where the Omusinga basecamp golf site where he will address them.

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