Rwenzururu king cancels trip to bury his mother

Jun 15, 2019

High Court, presided over by Eva Luswata, on Friday cleared Mumbere, giving him fourteen days to travel to go and pay his last respect to the fallen Rwenzururu Nyamukama.


The Rwenzururu Omusinga (cultural leader) is no longer travelling to the Rwenzori region for his mother's burial as planned, New Vision reliably learnt Saturday.

The Omusinga was meant to travel to Kasese to pay the last respect to his mother, Christine Biira Mukirania, and to perform befitting cultural rituals.

The Nyamukama (Queen Mother) died June 11 aged 85 years at Kilembe Mines Hospital on of what was understood to be cancer.

High Court, presided over by Eva Luswata, on Friday cleared Mumbere, giving him fourteen days to travel to go and pay his last respect to the fallen Rwenzururu Nyamukama.

However, Gad Mbayahi Bakwanamaha, the chairperson of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Inter-Ministerial Committee, said Mumbere had cancelled his visit.

Following her death, a rift developed within the family and between the family and the Rwenzururu leadership over where to lay her remains.

One side, led by the Chief Prince and agriculture state minister, Christopher Kibanzanga, opted for having her buried either at Kibanzanga's country home in Nyamirangara along the Kasese-Mbarara highway or on a piece of land which the government bought for the institution on Nyakabingo hill.

Another faction and the Rwenzururu leaders wanted her buried on her land along the highway.

Amidst the bickering, Mumbere directed that she be buried in Kasese district.

However, Kibanzanga, arguing that he would not allow his mother to be buried disgracefully, had her body taken away to Bundibugyo on Friday evening from Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital where it was being preserved.

"There is no need for king Mumbere to come now.  He has cancelled the planned travel to Kasese," Mbayahi said on phone on Saturday.

"Now that one of her sons (Christopher Taban Kibanzanga) has decided to personalize the matter, it is no longer an issue of the institution," said Mbayahi.

According to Mbayahi, the Rwenzururu had symbolically buried her by virtue of all the things we have done.

"If any of us is to attend the burial in Bundibugyo, it will be on individual merit not as a member of the cabinet or a Rwenzururu representative," Mbayahi, who also doubles as a teacher, insisted.

One of Mumbere's younger brothers, William Sibibuuka Kibanzanga, quoted the Omusinga as demanding that the government should prevail on Kibanzanga to return their mother's body to Kasese.

Sibibuuka told New Vision on phone around 5:30 p.m Saturday that he was not yet decided whether to travel to Bundibugyo or not.

According to the Rwenzururu spokesperson, Yona Tumusiime, Mumbere had called for calm.

The Rwenzururu Attorney- General, Alfred Makasi was at the requiem mass at St Peters Anglican Church in Bundibugyo, when New Vision contacted him on phone Saturday afternoon.

But Makasi clarified that he was attending Biira's burial as a relative, not as the Rwenzururu Attorney- General.

Makasi, however, said the Mbayahi-led Rwenzururu cabinet had not been informed about Mumbere cancelling the visit.

"If he has cancelled the visit, the clearance remains valid until it expires after the fourteen days which he has been granted," he said.

Kasese district LC 5 chairman, advised that Kibanzanga should treat Mumbere with humility.

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