Mumbere heads to Kasese

By John Thawite

He was later bailed out but confined in a Kampala house and prevented from visiting Kasese, Bundibugyo and Wakiso.

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In a twist of events, the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) cultural leader, Charles Wesley Mumbere, will be in Kasese to pay his last respects to his mother, Christine Biira Mukirania.

Christine Biira Mukirania, the Rwenzururu Nyamukama (Queen Mother), died June 11 aged 85 years at Kilembe Mines Hospital on of what was understood to be cancer.

The Omusinga was meant to travel to Kasese Saturday after High Court, presided over by Eva Luswata on Friday cleared him and gave him 14 days to go for his mother’s burial, during which he was also expected to perform related rituals.

This will be the first time to set foot in his kingdom nearly three years after he and some 200 of his subjects were arrested and charged in the Jinja Chief magistrate's court with various counts including treason, terrorism, murder and destruction to property.

He was later bailed out but confined in a Kampala house and prevented from visiting Kasese, Bundibugyo and Wakiso.

However, on Saturday, Gad Mbayahi Bakwanamaha, the chairperson of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Inter-Ministerial Committee said, which has been overseeing the kingdom affairs in Mumbere’s absence, Mumbere had cancelled his visit.

“The Omusinga is coming although we don’t know by what means,” Yona Tumusiime, the Obusinga spokesperson, told New Vision on phone.

But Tumusiime said the OBR leadership was still working out the programme and other logistics to handle Mumbere’s visit.

The Nyamukama was buried in Bundibugyo Sunday after the family disagreed over where to bury her.

Amidst the controversy, Mumbere directed that their mother be buried in Kasese, the kingdom headquarters.

But the Rwenzururu chief prince and state minister for agriculture, Christopher Kibazanga, Mumbere’s younger brother, overruled the directive and had their mother buried in Kirindi, Bundibugyo district,

“Apart from Kibanzanga and one of Nyamuakama’s daughters, Nyarubugha, the rest of her children have remained at their mother’s home in Kasese town,” the Rwenzururu spokesperson, Yona Tumusiime, told New Vision Sunday.

Meanwhile, one of Mumbere’s brothers, William Maate Kibanzanga, has said some of the family members will seek legal against Kibanzanga.

“We are making history, first death, so we are putting things together to identify actuals,” said one of the high-ranking OBR leaders who referred the matter to the kingdom spokesperson.

“Nyamukama is the first Queen Mother to die in the history of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu so I cannot immediately state the rituals Mumbere is supposed to perform,” the spokesperson said.

He said a council of elders and the Rwenzururu cabinet was going to meet to identify the requisite rituals.

The Nyamukama is survived by eight children including Charles Mumbere (the Rwenzururu king), Christopher Kibanzanga, the Chief Prince, Mary Mbambu, Faith Nzyabake, Christine Kibanzanga and Kunihira Muhindo, the Nyarubugha,(Chief Princess.)