King Charles Wesley Mumbere Pre-trial Fails Over Slow Internet

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • November 9, 2022

The case in which 200 Rwenzururu Kingdom loyalists, including King Charles Wesley Mumbere, face murder related charges yesterday failed to proceed.

The case that was set for pre-trial and hearing of the bail application before the International Crimes Division (ICD) did not proceed because the 49 suspects, who were attending virtually from three different prisons, were unable to follow the proceedings due to Internet breakdown.

The suspects include Rwenzururu guards and women who have been on remand in Luzira, Kasese and Jinja prisons since 2016.

When the trial began before Justice Alice Khaukha, the suspects could neither hear nor respond to what was going on in the court.

This forced the judge to adjourn the matter to November 29.

“Technology has clearly failed us,” Justice Khaukha said.

She said the registrar will later communicate whether the next session will be held from Jinja or Kampala to hear the bail application of the 49 still in jail.

The judge’s ruling was prompted by a submission from the accused’s lawyer, Mr Evans Ochieng, who asked the court to convene in Jinja in order to assess the health condition of the suspects remanded there.

“All the applicants are in Jinja not Luzira, so to avoid network interruptions, the court should move to Jinja. The assessment of the health condition of the suspects can be done by the court better that way,” Mr Ochieng submitted.

Prosecution led by Mr Lino Anguzu also told court that they have up to 15 volumes of evidence they intend to rely. They thus requested for a date to mark the exhibits.

Through their lawyers, the accused applied for bail pending the hearing of their case, citing that they are presumed innocent and intend not to plead guilty to the charges which they said are false, fabricated and aimed at embarrassing them and their kingdom.

They further explained that they will not abscond from the trial when released on bail, arguing that they want to ensure that their innocence is proved.

According to the court documents, the applicants state that they have been attacked by various ailments while in prison for which they seek bail so that they get treatment from home.

 Looking back
The Omusinga was arrested on November 27, 2016, with close to 200 other loyalists during the security raid on his Buhikira Palace in Kasese Town that left more than 100 people dead. The king, his former prime minister Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire and six juveniles are all out on bail.