Seven years later, the tale of the fateful day when Rwenzururu Kingdom was raided

In January 2021, 132 Royal Guards out of 217 were released on bail and asked to report to the different courts in the magisterial areas every last Friday of the month.

By Obed Kithende

Kasese: On Wednesday, marked exactly seven years after the joint security forces raid on the Buhikira Royal Palace of the Rwenzururu Kingdom, home to Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema ngoma in Kasese town,

The incident, which occurred at around 11 a.m. on the fateful day of November 27, 2016, left the palace in a devastated state and left scores dead, while more than 200 individuals, including Omusinga, were arrested.

The regrettable incident was under the command of the Uganda Police Forces, led by Assistant Inspector General of Police Asuman Mugenyi, and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), led by now-Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu.

Omusinga and his more than 200 subjects, including the royal guards, were taken to different prisons in Uganda after being arraigned before the court and charged with a number of counts ranging from treason, murder, attempted murder, and aggravated robbery, among others.

However, in 2017, the Omusinga secured temporary freedom, but his movements were restricted to the districts of Kampala and Wakiso.

In January 2021, 132 Royal Guards out of 217 were released on bail and asked to report to the different courts in the magisterial areas every last Friday of the month.

Until June 13, 2023, when the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) dropped all the charges against the Omusinga of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere Iremangoma, and 217 of his subjects after spending close to seven months incarcerated.

The decision came after the majority of the accused persons applied for amnesty, leading to the charges being dropped in a hearing that was presided over by Judge Alice Komuhangi at the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kololo.

On June 15, 2023, at around 8:35 a.m., two buses with a lead car belonging to the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) arrived in Kasese town with 62 remaining Royal Guards on board to rejoin with their families freely.

On October 4, 2023, aboard an aircraft labelled AeroLink 5X-BXW, the Rwenzururu King, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Iremangoma, in company of Nyabaghole Her Highness Queen Agnes Ithungu Asimawe, and the children landed at exactly 1:45 p.m. at Kasese Airfield in Nyamwamba Division, finally returning to his kingdom.

The Omusinga received a heroic and historical welcome from his subjects, who were lining up along various roads in Kasese Municipality leading to the Kilembe Mines Golf Course in Kasese town, where he addressed a mammoth crowd.

On October 19, 2023, in his speech during his 57th Coronation Anniversary at the Golf Course, His Majesty the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema Ngoma unveiled the five pillars of his seven-year plan for the OBR, including reconciliation, unity in diversity, peacebuilding and promotion, socio-economic transformation, and mindset change.

Last week, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the Omusinga started his tours with Kambasa County (Bukonzo County West) being the first to visit to sensitize his subjects on his five pillars before he went to Buthale County (Bukonzo County East) on Friday, November 25, 2023.

However, while speaking to members of the Akethu Akakera who paid a courtesy visit to the temporarily established Royal Palace in Kamaiba ward, Kasese Municipality, His Majesty Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Iremangoma said that despite dropping all charges against him and his subjects by the DPP, some of the OBR property that was confiscated by the government of Uganda during the attacks, including the devastated Buhikira Royal Palace, Royal vehicles, and the Administration offices located on a long Alexander Street in Kasese town, have not been given to the cultural institution.

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