Police block religious leaders from visiting king Mumbere

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Police on Friday blocked a delegation of inter-religious council members from Kasese, Fort portal and Kampala from accessing the palace of the king of the Rwezururu kingdom, Charles Wesley Mumbere in Muyenga, Kampala.

The team of bishops, priest and sheikhs had gone to the palace to reportedly pray with the royal family members for peace to continue prevailing in the Rwezori region after the clashes that left over 100 people killed.
The Spokesperson of Rwenzururu kingdom Mr Clarence Bwambale told this reporter that when the religious leaders arrived at the palace, they were turned away by police under the command of DPC Kabalagala, SP Isaac Mugerwa, who stressed that they were not informed in time about their visit.
Mr Bwambale explained that police action was uncalled for because the king’s lawyer had informed them about the religious leaders visit.
“The prayers were part of the strategies for lasting peace in the region,” Mr Bwambale said.

Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere talking

Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere talking to one of his lawyers, Caleb Alaka at Jinja High Court on February 6, 2017.

Justice Micheal Elubu of the Jinja High Court on February 6, 2017 granted the Omusinga bail with stringent conditions, among which included Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) royal guard brigade to guard and maintain his security detail under the Traditional and Cultural Leaders Act and that the police will provide additional security by guarding his royal palace.
Additionally, the king’s movements were restricted to only three districts of Kampala, Wakiso and Jinja.
The king was also ordered not to set foot in Rwenzori region and that he would have access to his personal doctor and immediate family members, and would continue reporting to Jinja Chief Magistrates Court and at CID Kampala.
King Mumbere has since been guarded by police and only a few guests have been allowed to access him only after seeking permission from police.

Mr Bwambale however, noted that they are trying to re-engage government on agreeable terms to have some conditions waived because restrictions on religious leaders were not part of the bail conditions.
“My appeal on behalf of the Kingdom to the government is to revise the conditions and restrictions on the king because they alarm the community members. We need peace in Rwenzori more than anybody else because the situation impacts on us directly and negatively,” Mr Bwambale said.

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