Army seizes phones of Rwenzururu queen


JINJA. Rwenzururu Kingdom officials have revealed that mobile phones belonging to Queen Agnes Ithungu and her two maids have been confiscated by military intelligence personnel.

While speaking to journalists at the High Court in Jinja Town on Tuesday, the kingdom attorney general, Mr Alfred Makasi, said the three mobile phones were confiscated by operatives of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) on Wednesday last week.

The operatives, reportedly commanded by the Chief of Military Intelligence, Brig Abel Kandiho, entered King Charles Mumbere’s home in Muyenga, a Kampala suburb, at midnight.
According to security sources, intelligence operatives raided the home to ascertain whether the king was present following information that he had fled the country.

Mr Makasi, who is also the kingdom’s chief legal adviser, condemned the CMI seizure of the phones which he said should be returned to the owners. He urged security agencies to first verify information they receive before they act.
“We call upon government to start sieving information they get before they act. We are available; they would have approached us before acting,” said Mr Makasi. He added that social media reports of the king’s alleged escape could be aimed at inflaming the Rwenzururu conflict and ruining the ongoing peace dialogue between the government and the kingdom.

‘Mumbere not a flight risk’
Mumbere, who delegated the kingdom lawyer to speak on his behalf, disclosed that he has no intention of escaping from the three districts of Kampala, Jinja and Wakiso – where his movement was restricted under the terms of his bail by the High Court on February 06, 2017.

On Monday the king appeared before Jinja High Court judge Eva Luswata for extension of his bail. He appeared together with his prime minister, Mr Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire and six juveniles who are co-accused with him. Court extended their bail to August 22.
The army spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire, however, denied that CMI operatives seized the phones of the queen and her maids. He described the claims as “baseless”.

The charges
King Mumbere and 200 of his subjects are facing charges of terrorism, treason, murder, aggravated robbery, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

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