They further say the Queen Mother’s “stunt is inconsistent with our culture and must be ignored
The Rwenzururu Queen mother has come under fierce attack for allegedly attempting to seize the throne of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (Rwenzururu kingdom) from its officially recognized leader and her son Charles Mumbere.
At a meeting held at her residence on Kasese town on Thursday and Friday, Christine Biira Mukirania announced that she was trying to save the kingdom from total collapse now that the release of her son was uncertain.
The meeting was attended by some clan heads, native chiefs, Esyomango sy'Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu, (Rwenzururu youth group) and the women's league.
Mukirania, who was flanked by one of Mumbere's younger brother, William Sibibuka and former Bukonzo East MP, Aprunalis Kithende, rubbished allegations that she wants to oust her son from his throne.
She maintained that it was not the first time for her to spearhead meetings in her son's absence.
"What I am doing is not the first of its kind. I started such meetings in the bush. After my husbands' death, I led the Obusinga until a regent was installed to act for young Mumbere. When the regent was killed, I again led the Obusinga," she said.
She also said she had called various Rwenzururu leaders to forge away to restore peace alongside working out ways of meeting President Museveni to appeal to him to release Mumbere and all the co-accused subjects.
Mumbere's young brother, William Sibibuka, urged the Rwenzururu leadership to join hands with his mother in seeking the release of his brother and other suspects.
Mumbere, with scores of his subjects, was arrested on November 27 last year and has been charged with various offences including terrorism, treason, murder, attempted murder, and aggravated robbery among others.
He is currently out on bail and living in Makindye, a Kampala suburb under tight security.
Sibibuka also said the meeting convened by his mother was aimed at revamping the Rwenzururu kingdom to enable it continue with its programmes and activities.
At a meeting supported by Kabarole Research Centre (KRC) held at the Seventh-Day Adventist Better Living Centre main hall in Kasese town Friday, the Rwenzururu Prime Ministerial Commission, cabinet, Mumbere's Privy Council and a cross section of leaders from various structures in the Rwenzori sub-region strongly disassociated themselves from the queen mother's move.
"We vehemently disassociate ourselves from the schemes being mooted by Nyamukama (Queen Mother) Christine Mukirania to purportedly take over the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu," says the statement in part.
It is signed by the Prime Ministerial Commission, Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Cabinet the Chieftains, Members of the House of Representatives (Ekyaghanda Kikulhu), Clan and Ridge Leaders and Leaders of Esyomango (youth wing) from Kasese, Bundibugyo and Kabarole districts.
They warn that the Queen Mother's move "is bound to create further turmoil to the already fragile situation which we have continued to consistently pacify to promote peace and stability that was disrupted in last year's attacks when hundreds died and others arrested."
They further say the Queen Mother's "stunt is inconsistent with our culture and must be ignored. It must be treated with contempt that it deserves."
They also accuse her of going contrary to the government and President Yoweri Museveni who duly recognized Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-Ngoma as the rightful King of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu and still does to this point.
"Therefore, Nyamukama's stunt is a clear contrast with the wishes of the people and indicates her disrespect to the President and the people of Rwenzururu," it adds.
Renew allegiance to Mumbere
"We continue to pay allegiance to His Majesty Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-Ngoma as our rightful king and will continue to pursue peace and reconciliation in the region.
"We appeal to all Banya Rwenzururu and our supporters to remain calm and not be diverted by such petty issues intended to fuel conflict in the region.
"We continue to seek amicable ways to secure the exoneration and release of our people that were detained including our beloved King in order to continue to restore cordial relationship with the Central Government and all stakeholders in the region for shared prosperity and development.
What others say
Kibingo Wanzabalere, one of the clan leaders who attended the queen mother's meeting, said he advised her to desist from such a move, describing it as "disruptive and unbecoming behaviour."
"When she insisted, some of us stormed out of her meeting in protest." he said at the Better Living centre meeting.
The Rwenzururu spokesperson, Clarence Bwambale, said he had consulted Mumbere about the Queen Mother's meeting.
"The king says the Obusinga is neither his, nor owned by the queen mother, nor his own children but an institution for and by the royalists," Bwambale said.
He added, "Much as the queen mother is free to invite any of us in her personal capacity, she is not mandated to summon the Rwenzururu structures."
Paulo Rwibende, veteran military command who served under Isaya Mukirania, Mumbere's late father in the 1960s, said the Queen Mother's action was contrary to her late husband's instructions.
"Before Mukirania died, he instructed us to look after Christine. I am surprised to hear her claiming that she too was a leader of the Obusinga. She must never assume powers she does not deserve," Rwibende said.