Court adjourns trial of King Mumbere, sent back to Luzira prison

  • by Ignatius Liposhe
  • January 11, 2017
Mumbere in court

High Court has set 9th January as the date for hearing bail the application of Rwenzururu King Charles Mumbere.

The 64-year-old cultural leader with the charges slapped against him over Kasese killings had listed ill health and advanced age among the ten grounds in his bail application.

On Wednesday, King Mumbere and 152 royal guards made their fourth appearance before the Jinja Magistrates court. Donning a dark suit, Mumbere stood in the dock with Rwenzururu Prime Minister Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire. The two were seen listening to their lawyers moments before the court session started.

Jinja Chief Magistrate Francis Kaggwa postponed the mention of the case to 12th of January 2017 when the committal papers will be ready after the prosecution said police inquiries into the charges were still ongoing, suspects to be further remanded.

Mumbere’s lawyers led by Caleb Alaka, however, accused the Police of violating the rights of the suspects and demanded to know the whereabouts of 14 suspects other that have never been charged before the court yet their names are on the charge sheet.

The defense lawyers also accuse the state of not being cooperative and of denying the suspects a right to fair hearing by switching state attorneys handling the case.

The charges stem from the coordinated attacks on security installations, which claimed the lives of 16 police officers allegedly conducted by Rwenzururu Royal Guards in November this year. The attacks prompted the army to lead an offensive against Mumbere’s palace on November 26 leading to the death of 49 royal guards. The army also arrested at least 149 royal guards and Mumbere.

The government has accused the Rwenzururu kingdom in Kasese district of recruiting and training militants that are seeking secession from the rest of Uganda to create their own republic, to be called Yira.