Ugandan tribal king re-arrested on charges of terrorism, treason and murder

January 16, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

AFP photo



Gloria Nakiyimba

The Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere has been re-arrested shortly after the Jinja High court granted him bail on Friday.

The Omusinga was arrested by police officers who had camped around court premises as the judge read out a ruling on his bail application.

The personal car he was traveling in back to Kampala was blocked by police officers who ordered him out of the car and led him to another police van. The Omusinga, who appeared calm as he was led into the police car, was in the company of his wife Agness Itunghu.

The King, who had learnt of his pending arrest, was holed up in the Jinja high court for several hours after his release, and it is not yet known where the Omusinga has been taken.

Jinja High Court judge Eva Luswata released Mumbere on a cash bail of 100 million Uganda shillings. Six of his sureties entered a non cash bond of 100 million shillings each.

These were mainly members of Parliament from the Rwenzori region. They included Leader of opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza, and former Prime Minister of the Obusinga bwa Rwenzuru, Constatine Bwambale.

Others were Kasese municipality legislator Robert Centenary Bukonzo West member of parliament Hon. Atikins Katushabe, William Nzoghu for Busongora North County and Bukonzo East constituency representative Tonny Muhindo.

“Considering circumstances that the accused has a right to bail, satisfied that he will return for trial and that he presented substantial  sureties, bail is hereby granted,” the judge ruled.

In other conditions set for the bail, Mumbere was prohibited from carrying out any acts of violence, and interfering with police investigations.

His movements were restricted to Kampala, Wakiso and Jinja districts. He was prohibited from accessing Kasese, Kabarole and Bundibugyo districts in his Rwenzururu kingdom.

Justice Luswata ruled that the government of Uganda should maintain the security detail of the Omusinga, and that the bail applicant should not refuse, obstruct, or disband his security detail unless a formal application is made to court.

The King was also ordered to report before the  Jinja court Chief magistrate once every month starting 13 February 2017.

The state raised objections to the temporary release of the Rwenzuru tribal king claiming he would escape, but the judge ruled this out noting that it was not viable since his travel documents including a passport were destroyed in an inferno on his palace in Kasese following the November raid by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces and Police.

She dismissed as mere speculation claims by the State that Mumbere can cause more insecurity in the Rwenzori region once granted bail.

The Omusinga has been on remand since he was arrested, following the November clashes between his royal guards and the military that stormed the Royal Palace in Kasese on November 27 2016.

Scores of people who were within the palace lost their lives during a live fire exchange that followed.



Mumbere Committed to International Crimes division.


On Thursday Charles Wesley Mumbere was committed to the International Crimes division of the High court for trial on terrorism charges, treason, murder, attempted murder, malicious damage, arms robbery, among others.

Jinja court chief magistrate Francis Kaggwa committed him to the International Crimes Division after state Attorney Rachel Bikhole presented to court committal papers.

Mumbere is jointly charged with 13 of his royal guards.

Uganda’s Director of Public Prosecution told court that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the terrorism charges against the Omusinga and his co-accused when the trial starts at the International crimes division of the High court.

Prosecution alleges that the accused attacked Kidodo police booth in Kasese and murdered a police constable Geoffrey Kasimba and threatened to take the lives of eight others.



History repeats itself.


The re arrest of the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere is not the first incident of its kind.

On March 1 2007 armed security forces stormed the High court in Kampala to re arrest five men who had been granted bail.

They had spent 15 months in detention on charges of treason. They were accused of being part of rebel group. People’s Redemption Army- PRA.

In 2005 security personnel draped in black uniforms stormed the high court to re-arrest opposition leader retired col. Dr. Kizza Besigye. The siege on the high court, by what later came to be known as “Black Mambas”, was widely condemned by human rights activists as an attack on the Temple of Justice.

Besigye had just been granted bail when the military swung into action blocking his bail. At the time, Besigye had announced he would stand against President Museveni in the 2006 general elections. He too was facing charges of terrorism at the time.










Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster


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