June 28, 2013

Govt Blocks Mumbere’s Visit to Bundibugyo

Omusinga wa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere
Omusinga wa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere

The government has blocked Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere from visiting Bundibugyo districtfor the annual celebration of the Kingdom’s peace day set for Sunday, June 30.

The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura who is camping in Kasese since Thursday announced today that the central government advised King Mumbere and his subjects to have the celebrations in Kasese district where his palace is.

On May 11, the Bamba and Bawisi, the dominant tribes in Bundibugyo petitioned government to block King Mumbere from celebrating the peace day in the district as they also prepare to have their own cultural institution, Obundingiya Bwa Bwamba, recognized.

Addressing a press conference at the Margarita Hotel in Kasese town, Gen. Kayihura said he has deployed heavily in Kasese to prevent Mumbere’s subjects, the Banyarwenzururu, from turning chaotic as their King Mumbere is barred from leaving for Bundibugyo.

Police patrol vehicles, tear gas and water spray vehicles were seen being driven along the streets of Kasese town today morning before being packed at the Central Police Station.

The situation in Kasese town is calm as people are concentrating on their work despite the motorized and foot patrols by the police.

However, the Kingdom cabinet sat today and resolved that the King Mumbere must lead the Banyarwenzururu to Bundibugyo district. Acting Prime Minister Ivan Syauswa says the scheduled celebrations have nothing to do with alleged imposition of Konjo culture on the Bamba and Babwisi.
Syauswa says that the function is historical to be hosted in Bundibugyo because it is where the Rwenzururu Kingdom flag was first hoisted on Kasulenge hill on June 30, 1962 to declare independence from Tooro Kingdom. On that day, representatives from Busongora and Bwamba walked out of the Tooro Parliament, the Orukurato, accusing Omukama George Rukidi III and his kingdom of oppressing Bakonzo and Bamba.

Syauswa says the King is set for the journey to Bundibugyo on Saturday at 10am.

The Kasese district chairman Lt.Col. Mawa Muhindo says government has erred by depriving the King of his constitutional right to embark on his Royal visit to Bundibugyo.

In April, hundreds of Banyarwenzururu in Kasese district defied police deployment and proceeded to Kasenyi landing site on Lake George shores, where Mumbere presided over the Kingdom’s environment and Heroes day.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Peace day organizing committee in Bundibugyo, Elisha Sebadu, says preparations are in high gear to host the Omusinga despite reports that the Police Director of Operations Grace Turyagumanawe is camped in the area.

Earlier today, the Ruwenzori Police Spokesperson Bakari Muga told journalists in Fort Portal that the police were waiting for government’s decision on whether Mumbere should be allowed to travel to Bundibugyo.

According to Muga, this position was reached at during a meeting on Friday morning in Bundibugyo district. The meeting was attended by the Resident District Commissioner, members of the district security committee and representatives of the Bamba and Bakonzo communities.

Muga also said that police have beefed up foot and motorized patrol along the Kasese-Fort Portal and Fort –Portal-Bundibugyo roads to ensure people don’t smuggle dangerous weapons to Bundibugyo.

At Kichwamba, along the Fort-Portal-Bundibugyo road, passengers travelling in commuter taxis are subjected to thorough checks and are required to identify themselves, before they are allowed to proceed.

During the press conference, the police also displayed 250 poison-laced arrows which were on Thursday night recovered from two Bakonzo youths in Bundibugyo. The suspects are Paul Kyomuhendo aged 26 years and his elder brother, Jackson Balikamya, who is 29 years. The two hail from Busika village in Ntoroto parish, Bundibugyo district.

Clashes between Bamba and Bakonzo during Mumbere’s visit to Bundibugyo in June last year left at least 400 people displaced

5 thoughts on “Govt Blocks Mumbere’s Visit to Bundibugyo

  1. “the police also displayed 250 poison-laced arrows which were on Thursday night recovered from two Bakonzo youths in Bundibugyo” ya right like the pangas, machetes and putidas confiscated that Besigye was going to use after the elections

  2. It took Mumbere about 20 years to be crowned King for Bakonzo. For all that time, the bakonzo people were calm. The government is trying to connive with the hooligans in bwamba to recognise their kingship in just one year. People are seeing and are courting. Musevenz government has greately divided Ugandan tribes and clans such that he (Museveni) gets space for him to insinuate.

    God should protect our nation.

  3. “Earlier today, the Ruwenzori Police Spokesperson Bakari Muga told journalists in Fort Portal that the police were waiting for government’s decision on whether Mumbere should be allowed to travel to Bundibugyo.”

    “Besigye restraint ‘not NRM affair’” Daily Monitor Headline – 27 June 2013

    “But yesterday, a spokesperson for the party insisted the matter is “a security question which should be answered by police” after Dr Besigye was, for the third day running, prevented from getting into town by the force.”

    Is it me or does the goverment/NRM not know and/or care what it tells the media? I just cannot square the answers given to the questions raised in these two similar stories. Either the government has direct control of the movement of these political figures (through the police) or it is a security matter to be handled independently by the police.

    I am of course concious that in the former reference is made to government and in latter story it was to NRM. However when were the two – government and NRM – ever really separate entities or treated as such?

    As the saying goes “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”.

    Lord Denning, a renowned reformist judge once wrote “Obscurity in thought inexorably leads to obscurity in language”.

    I wonder whether these and other muddled messages are simply manifestations of the muddled/disjointed thinking of the government/NRM. I think as citizens we have a right to have a clear an unambiguous message given to us by the powers that be on such sensitive and constitutional matters.

    Otherwise we end up in a situation once famously described by Paulo Mwanga about the Makindye(?) gunfight between the army and special forces as “Uncoordinated movement of troops”.

  4. On further reflection and in addition to my earlier comment, it seems strange that the government is consulted in relation to peace and security issues where the likely disaster would be two rival factions fighting each other as against an apparent disinterest and alleged trust in the police to deal with Besigye who is considered a threat to national security. Common sense would dictate that the priorities were reversed.

    I should point out that this is all academic as we should all take the “stories” the spokesmen gave to the media with a pinch of salt….

    To get the full flavour!!!!

  5. NRM government is famous for creating small chief-doms to weaken those kingdoms it thinks are not in their support. King Mumbere, know it that you have a dangerous enemy you stay with. Its a pity, the police are used as condoms. Long live my king. I hope we make it to the place where we hosted our first flag. Happy independence celebrations all Byanyarwenzururu. Fight harder to keep the independence.

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