December 22, 2014

Rwenzururu King Visits Bundibugyo To Foster Reconciliation

Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere visted his native Bundibugyo district for the first time in two years.

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

Mumbere’s last visit to Bundibugyo was on June 30, 2012 when he presided over the Rwenzururu Kingdom independence.

He could not visit Bundibugyo again following the tribal tension between the Bamba and Bawisi leading to the July 2014 clashes in which over 100 people were killed.

The Acting Kingdom spokesperson Edward Makanika says that the Omusinga is visiting Bundibugyo on the invitation of Lt. Col. (Rtd) Martin Kamya the King of Obundingiya bwa Bwamba (Bwamba Kingdom) who will be having a thanks giving ceremony.

The ceremony will be held in Bundibugyo town on Sunday December 21 to thank God for his enthronement and recognition by the central government on May 30 this year.

Makanika says that Mumbere could not turn down the invitation from his “brother” the Omundingiya because the two kings have opened a working relationship aimed at restoring harmony in Bundibugyo.

The relationship between the Bakonzo and Bamba had ceased following the June 30, 2013 when government blocked Mumbere from visiting Bundibugyo district.

The relationship worsened on July 5, 2014 when hundreds of Bakonzo youths locally known as “Esyamango Syo’obusinga” (Rwenzururu Spear-handlers) attacked government security installations and the Bwamba King’s palace.

Over 100 people were killed in coordinated attacks in the three districts of Kasese, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo.

The attacks also spilled off to the Basongora a minority ethnic group whose quest for cultural recognition by the government has also been opposed by the Bakonzo since July 1, 2012 when Apollo Bwebale enthroned himself as their King.

However, since a meeting was held early October at Primerose Hotel in Mubende town where Mumbere and Kamya announced their reconciliation on behalf of the subjects, the two kingdoms have started to walk the talk.
On October 19, 2014, Col. Kamya led a delegation from his Kingdom to attend Mumbere’s 48th coronation anniversary at the Kilembe Mines Golf Course in Kasese town.

Meanwhile, the Uganda Police has accepted to provide security to King Mumbere and his delegation to and from Bundibugyo.

The Rwenzori Region police publicist, Bashir Bakali Muga confirmed that the police is aware of the visit and will also provide security at the thanks giving event on Sunday.

Rt. Rev. Zebedee Masereka the retired Bishop of the South Rwenzori Diocese in Kasese district will be the main celebrant of the ecumenical service at the thanks giving ceremony.

He has been part of the efforts by the Rwenzori Region peace and justice forum that has been traversing the region on peaceful co-existence mission.

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