“KASESE – The Government is to start releasing subjects and some of the officials of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu who were arrested and jailed following the November 2016 security raid on the cultural institution. During the raid, security forces also picked the Rwenzururu king, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere. Sixteen security operatives and over 100 other subjects died in the incident” (John B. Thawite – ‘Govt to set Rwenzururu suspects free’ 21.11.2020, New Vision).
Since the 26th November 2016 and the Kasese clashes the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere have been in exile and charged with two counts of murder, which if he had been indicted and on trial for it. The King of the Rwenzururu could get prison for life. However, the King and his men who has been arrested in 2016. Have never gotten justice, neither all the people who died those pivotal days in Kasese and at the Buhikira Royal Place who was burned down as well.
The charge was put on the King on the 28th November 2016. The case against have never been resolved and he has been put in exile ever since. Only allowed one visit to participate in a burial of his mother. Before having to return back to Kampala.
What is also striking about this, there was never any investigation into the murders and the mass-killings, as the Special Force Command and Flying Squad was participating in attacking the Royal Palace in October 2016. Like the state came with official numbers from 2016 was 62 deceased, but these other nunbers 70 identified dead, another 52 unidentified dead and 14 police officers dead. That is near double of what the says, which was 136 killed during the skirmishes.
The claimed they we’re going after the “Kirumiramutima” or “the Strong Hearted” a militia gathering in the area and soldiering up. Working together with the Kingdom. Alas, the reason for the sudden attack on the Palace and killing civilians. This taking lives of the Palace Guards and others in Kasese. However, what is sadly striking… is that this militia have never surfaced before or after the skirmishes of the state. It is seemingly on the state violence and their operation that created the deaths these days 4 years ago.
Still, there have been no investigation or look into the amount of killings. Only a dark and grim day of burring unidentified in a ceremony by clerical persons. Doing it while the army was monitoring the events. Therefore, we know the lives taken was quickly buried and hoped that no one question it.
While the King is charged with murder and has also charged with treason. There has never been any evidence of this. Neither has the militia the state claimed appeared and was dangerous haven’t been seen since the skirmishes four years ago. If that isn’t sign. Nothing really is.
That is why the state has to release these “suspects” because they are pulling things out of thin air. If there was anything. The state would have had a case and found them guilty of conspiring and doing criminal activity. Alas, that is not the case. The same should happen to the Obusinga as well. Since, they have no claim to hold him. Other than loosing their pride.
The ones that need to challenged and questioned for their actions in November 2016. Is the leadership of the SFC and the Flying Squad. This being Presidential Advisor on Security and former leader of the SFC Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga and army commander Gen. Elwelu who both was in-charge that day. However, these two gentlemen has since then promoted and not suffered any consequences over their actions. While the victims of it has faced the law with no proof. This is why they are getting released. The Kings Guard that was arrested shouldn’t only be released, but get punitive damages and get vindicated. Since, this was injustice and making them guilty before being innocent.
What happened in Kasese and the aftermath is the sort of act, which no Government with sense should do to their citizens. Alas, it did happen and went down, a tragedy and massacre. A state sponsored enterprise with no efforts or no investigation into how it did happen. As well as any indication or proof of the supposed intelligence to spark the attack on the Palace in the first place.
Therefore, the injustice and impunity of the state is so viable. The wounds are still fresh. This didn’t happen a decade ago. It just happened months after the previous election. It is therefore vital that this doesn’t go away, but is a reminder of what the state does to its own. How little life matters and little consequences there is taking lives. If it had consequences and had effects on the ones taking the lives in Kasese. They wouldn’t walk free and without any cases against them. These folks in the Flying Squad and Special Force Command wouldn’t be allowed to carry guns. They would be charged with murder and manslaughter themselves. However, that is not the case and it doesn’t seem to happen with this regime. They rather hope people forget and only hopes the families of the lost ones moves on in silence. Peace.
Ever since November 2016, the Kasese killings, the fire of the Buhikira Royal Palace and the killings of several of the Rwenzururu Kingdoms Royal Guards by the Special Force Command and the Flying Squad. Ever since then, the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere and 190 Royals Guards have awaited trial and sentencing.
Still, to this day, as the charges of terrorism and since January 2017 after a bail hearing, been living in exile in Kampala with restricted movement and conditions awaiting trial. Now for the last few days after his mother passing in Kasese. He had to go to trial to be allowed to enter his own Kingdom and be back in Kasese district, where the Kingdom of Rwenzururu reside. However, it’s been granted today. Nevertheless, we have seen how court orders have given way, but the Police have re-arrested a person on the fly a minute after.
This Court Order will not stop the Court Ship, nor the legal trouble of the King. Even as the state has promoted the leaders and commanders within the army, who attacked this kingdom and killed his kin. That is the sort of the leadership that is in Kampala these days, maybe some have forgotten that, but Gen. Elewu have gotten a raise and more responsibility after the acts done that in Kasese.
The Exiled King would only get a brief 14 days to visit his Kingdom, act ceremonial and bury his mother. The rest is going back to Kampala and living as a man charged with terrorism, but no pending trial nor proof of discovery on the matter. Therefore, his case is prolonged and his future is uncertain. As he lives in Buganda Kingdom, waiting to be allowed to rebuild and run his ceremonial kingdom in Kasese. This is the sort of nation the NRM has created.
The Exiled King will stay exiled for now. Not like if he returns and will get to stay. The President, the Special Force Command nor the leadership in Kampala is interested in that. They want to keep him away. That is what it seems, since they have not pinned him to the cross and they don’t want him to pay for their sins.
If they did, they would have done it already and figured out a way to cleans the hands of blood from their own. Peace.
The actions of these Kasese Attacks seems suspicious to me. As it saddens me to know that so many people have lost their lives and that so many people have left their houses. The reports of the reactions from the attacks is that banana-fields have been cleared and houses been burnt down in Kasenyi Trading Centre in Buhobera Sub-County, therefore people have fled the area. With the continuation of the Police and the Army stay heavy deployed in the area.
Certainly the IGP Kayihura commented and claimed that “kirumamutima” youth was behind the attacks in the area. Another claim was that people wanting a Yiira Republic were behind the attacks and therefore the Police and Army went so fierce and aggressive to the citizens.
While a day before the clashes President Museveni happen to speak to fellow locals where President Museveni: “assured the delegation that if a Yiira Republic were ever to be created, it would never ever involve a single inch of Uganda” (Uganda Media Centre, 10.03.2016).
Yesterday the Rwenzori Fraternity said this was the reason: “The violence that erupted was purely post election violence that came out of a poorly managed electoral process” (…)”The so called Yiira state is a concoction that has no basis and founding among the Population in the region and we are equally perturbed by this malicious propaganda that has no basis but intended to taint and alienate us the people of the Rwenzori region from the Uganda that we have always belonged to and we treasure” (Rwenzori Fraternity, 14.03.2016) .
The first reports on the 11th March from 91.2 Crooze FM:
“Kakurungu says another attack this afternoon targeted Poilce patrol van in Bwesumbu sub county. He says investigations are ongoing, to establish the intention of the group.
Uganda People Defense Forces were backing Police to secure the area, after the declaration of results from LCIII elections. Announcing some of the successful candidates, Kasese District Returning Officer, Lawrence Mbonigaba announced NRM’s John Musana Katura as Hima town council’s L.C III chairperson elect after winning his closet rival Tom Maate Wabukombi of FDC” (91.2 Crooze FM, 11.03.2016)
What happen on the Kasenyi on the 11th March?
““4 people shot dead following fresh clashes today afternoon between UPDF, police and residents of Kisenyi Town Council in Buhohera Sub-County, Kasese district. The dead are civilians. 2 UPDF soldiers were seriously injured while the area commissioner of police in charge of operations Opolot Jacob was shot and injured“ (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).
Who was shot on Friday the 11th March?
“Friday, security again shot dead four people in Kasenyi trading centre in Buhuhira sub-county after they allegedly attempted to disarm police officers. All the four killed were members of Rwenzururu kingdom royal guards, a non-combat force that guards the kingdom sites in Kasese” (The Observer, 11.03.2016).
What is weird for me is that President Museveni – Mr. Anti-Sectarianism and Anti-Tribalism comes days before and speaks about tribe to locals. Than days after local elections for councilors the Inspector of General Police says the reason for the violence is tribal. While the local CSO Rwenzori Fraternity and the Rwenzururu Kingdom spokesperson is clear that it is not tribal and want answers to why it is guards of the Kingdom who get pointed out and terminated.
While the Police and President Museveni even speaks about a Yira Republic, and the locals does not talk about it. It would be like President Museveni and IGP Kayihura would go to Lira and claim locals there after a brawl after vote rigging was local militias wanting to create at Nile Republic. Just like Joseph Kony of LRA wished to do in 1998, but people tend to forget that kind of thing, right?
So the claim from the IGP Kayihura is very strange and so is President Museveni come in hours before, when all reports looks like tension after the LCIII Councilors elections in Kasenyi Trading Centre and Hima Town. They came in heavy with the Army and Police, while the result seemed planned as it was the NRM who won in an area. Where the FDC has had an stronghold and the only area where all the MPs came from that party, even if had to violent after the tally on the 19th February.
So that this is continuation and surely the NRM and the Government would accept to lose face in the local elections as well. They had to be there and revenge the matter. That what it seems like as the UPDF and UPF knew exactly who they were going against and who they shot. As the men they shot were guards of the Rwenzururu King or Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu. That is suspect actions from the Governmental security organization who blames youth who evens wants to create a new Republic called Yira. The thing about this it is just mentioned by Government Officials in 2014, 2015 and now 2016. Not from the local youths in Rwenzori or by the Rwenzururu Kingdom officials or anybody else, most likely from Government Officials, and not real intelligence on the claims. Just like the claims have been countered quickly by the CSO and the Kingdom yesterday, after the IGP Kayihura explanation of the violence in Kasenyi Trading Centre in Buhobera Sub-County.
This here is not the whole explanation and there is more to the story, but as long as there is targeting certain individuals who belong to a certain level of authority, even a cultural institution as the Rwenzururu Kingdom. That is entity for the people of Rwenzori and the Rwenzori sub-region. That even President Museveni has blessed and was there on the coronation of the king or Obusinga. So that the government security forces targeted a separate group of people and not killing on random or just stopping demonstrations; as demonstrations would mean all kind of people would be hurt and died by the shots fired from the army and police. That was not case it seems after the Kasese attacks. There were two more people killed that day, as the Kingdom verified four people, while the total killed by the authorities was six. So there was two more and we don’t know their affiliation, but seems like the government had reason for four of them. Especially considering the mediation the day before and with the reactions the announcement of victory in local government elections, as the recent reactions to similar outcome in Bundibugyo, the army and police was more in action and ready to retaliate and address the public with force, as seen on the sad clips where they go in and not to settle or calming the public. Instead going in with intention to intimidate and take people down as they come with machine-guns, AK-47s and in it creating violence, not the story the IGP Kayihura has, that doesn’t fit the other stories. That is worth thinking about. This is not the answer and the whole story, but there is more behind the attack than the IGP want to tell, and there is more than the Kingdom is also saying, while the obvious that the announcement of the elections results that triggered it. Peace.
“Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu , the cultural institution thrust into the limelight after clashes on the 10th and 11th of March in Kasese district has distanced itself from the violence. The Kingdom’s Prime Minister Thembo Kitsumbire instead claimed a smear campaign against the cultural institution. Kitsumbire’s comments come a day after the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said four attackers were members of the a militia group linked to the cultural institution” (NTV Uganda, 2016).
Rwenzori Fraternity clip:
“The Rwenzururu kingdom has admitted that the youths who engaged the UPDF in a cross fire in which four were killed were part of their unofficial guards. The kingdom however denies any association with the “kirumamutima” youths saying the Inspector General of police should explain circumstances under which a pre deployment assessment mission was carried out in kasenyi and yet there was no violence at the time” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016)
“A tale of the kasese killings, from an eye witness’s account, was a story of friends trying to save a colleague from arrests only to end up losing their lives The family of the late James Wayekwa one of the men who were shot dead in the Friday clashes with police in Kasenyi village in Kasese district narrates how the 34 year old met his death.
They have denied Gen Kale kayihura’s claims that the late belonged to a militia Kirumiramutima which is linked to the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).
As members of the Rwenzori Fraternity, a non-partisan grouping of people hailing from the region, working in different parts of Uganda but mainly in Kampala & Kasese, wish to state as here under.
We learnt of the unfortunate events that happened in Kasese on the 10th day of March 2016 after the just concluded local council 111 elections wherein violence broke up in Buhuhira and Kikongo villages in Hima Town Council that led to the unfortunate loss of lives and destruction of property. We condemn in the strongest terms the perpetuators of violence and send our deep felt sympathies to the families that lost their dear ones both civilians and in security forces. We also pray for quick recovery for those we have learnt are still in hospitals.
While many versions of these events have been out in the media and from government officials namely post election violence, allegations of a Yiira state, tribal or ethnic conflicts, etc, And Whereas we appreciate the concerns of the different stakeholders and the findings so far we wish to state the following. The violence that erupted was purely post election violence that came out of a poorly managed electoral process.
The so called Yiira state is a concoction that has no basis and founding among the Population in the region and we are equally perturbed by this malicious propaganda that has no basis but intended to taint and alienate us the people of the Rwenzori region from the Uganda that we have always belonged to and we treasure.
Where as we recognize that for some time there has been some underlying political issues in the region that are funned by selfish politicians, We do not believe that this was the root cause of the violence that erupted in the past week.
We have lived as different ethnic groups in the region. We have been accommodative to each other socially, politically and economically and we would not wish anybody to appear to destroy the co existence that has been existent in the region for generations.
In the premises we ask our people back home in Kasese and the entire Rwenzori region to refrain from such acts that may cause violence and instead embrace peaceful and legitimate processes of resolving outstanding challenges at both individual, community and institutional levels.
We also implore government and all security agencies to take more interest in thorough intelligence gathering in the region. We call for more proactive rather than reactive approach to policing in the region. Government should endeavor to work closely with local, religious and community leaders during their operations. In the same vein, government spokespersons should desist from making alarming statements that may seem to seek to escalate the already porous situation but rather more calm statements.
We ask the government, the Civil Society Fraternity and all friends of the Rwenzori region to quickly focus on having a multi – stakeholder dialogue on the Rwenzori question and encourage local communities to actively engage in these peaceful efforts.
As a FRATERNITY, we think now is the time to start the journey to a long term and sustainable peacemaking processes. We have also resolved as a Fraternity to engage the different stake holders in the region in order to find a permanent solution to the Rwenzori question.
We also implore religious leaders, all newly elected political and local leaders to work together in an endeavor to foster peace and harmony in the region.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE RWENZORI FRATENITY.