MBARARA – President Yoweri Museveni has for the first time, publicly spoken out about the arrest, and subsequent demands for the release of Rwenzururu Cultural leader, Omusinga – Charles Wesley Mumbere, promising to ‘solved the issues amicably.’
The President said on Wednesday at function where he commissioned a one-stop border post – OSBP and new border export zone – BEZ in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Town Council, Kasese district.
At the event, the Kasese district LCV chairperson, Eliphazi Muhindi tickled the president, saying the people of Rwenzururu were mending their relationship with the ruling government over the last six years, adding that it was time that their pleas to ‘release’ their ruler were considered.
Mumbere, in the company of over 200 of his royal guards were arrested in November 2016 during a joint security raid on his Buhikira Palace in Kasese district. The same operation, which the then, Brig Peter Elwelu commanded, received global condemnation after 116 people – including women and children, were left dead.
Mumbere and the royal guards were arraigned before court in Jinja, charging them with several offences including treason, murder, attempted murder, and aggravated robbery among others. Mumbere, was released later, on bail but under very restrict terms including a denial from travelling outside the boundaries of Kampala, Wakiso, and Jinja districts. About 140 royal guards have since been released on bail while others are still in prison. A notable number died.
In reaction to Muhindi’s insinuation, Museveni revealed, without divulging details, that Omusinga had written to him, concluding that the two would ‘see how to sort the out issues.’
In September, during his broadcast Message on South Rwenzori Diocese Radio Messiah, Mumbere said that his way to regaining freedom entirely lay in the hands of the executive and the military who he said have major interests in his case.
“The executive and the military of the Republic of Uganda are the ones who have interest and they are the ones with control.
The President also directed the discontinuity of the Covid-19 testing at the border, encouraging the community to get fully vaccinated to curb the re-occurrence of the disease.Museveni called on his Congolese counterpart to speed up the removal of visa restrictions for Ugandans, saying such controls contravene the East African community protocols. Traders had narrated to the President how the Congolese were charging for travel documents to cross onto their side.
He however, applauded the DR Congo President, Félix Tshisekedi for allowing UPDF to pursue the Allied Democratic forces – ADF rebels.
Additional reporting by URN