The High Court in Jinja has set September 10 as the date for hearing Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere’s bail application review.
In a telephone interview at the weekend, the kingdom lawyer, Mr Alfred Makasi, said court granted Mumbere and Mr Johnson Thembo Kisumbire, the kingdom prime minister, bail but it denied them access to the kingdom (Rwenzururu).
“The security imposed other restrictions, which were outside the court ruling. For example, the king cannot move out of the house without permission from ‘above’ yet the court orders say he is free to move in Kampala, Jinja and Wakiso. He can’t even go to Church! The few times he attempted to, security did not allow him to attend,’’ Mr Makasi said.
According to Mr Makasi, also the Rwenzururu Kingdom attorney general, the Omusinga (king) is on bail but his restricted movement makes him ‘a prisoner’.
The Jinja High court registrar, Mr Jesse Byaruhanga, said the Omusinga’s bail application review will be presided over by Justice Michael Elubu and Mr Kisumbire’s application will be handled by Justice Eva Luswata. On April 27, the king filed a petition at Jinja High Court seeking to review some of the bail terms, especially the one which restricts him from accessing his subjects.
“The bail conditions in question were imposed with options to have them reviewed. The applicant is desirous of invoking the said conditions in a bid to have his bail terms relaxed,’’ the petition reads in a part.
Since November 27, 2016 when the army arrested the Omusinga and detained him at the former Nalufenya detention centre in Jinja, he has never set foot in his kingdom.
His movements were instead restricted to the three districts of Kampala where he currently resides, Jinja and Wakiso, fearing that he could return to the Kingdom and refuel the clashes among his subjects.
He now wants court to remove the movement restrictions put on him so that he can access his subjects.
The raid on his palace left more than 100 people – including 14 police officers dead, while more than 200 people suspected to be royal guards remain in detention at Kirinya prison in Jinja as they wait for their trial in the International Crimes Division of the High Court. The king faces several charges ranging from treason, terrorism, murder, attempted murder and aggravated robbery.
Arrested. Omusinga together with the prime minister and more than 200 loyalists were in November 2016 arrested after police and the military stormed his palace looking for suspects believed to have taken refuge there.