JINJA. The High Court in Jinja on Tuesday transferred Rwenzururu king Charles Wesley Mumbere’s bail application review hearing to the International Crimes Division (ICD).
Mr Mumbere was not present at court but his lawyer, Mr Alfred Makasi, told the judge that he is sick.
Speaking to journalists who had crammed outside the courtroom, Mr Makasi said since Mumbere was committed to the ICD, they have been told to file all their applications there because Jinja High Court no longer has that jurisdiction to hear them.
“Court has told us to follow the conditions that were issued when the King was granted bail. If we are to make any further appearance, it must be at the ICD in Kololo,’’ Mr Mukasi said.
He added that they are to discuss and decide whether to file a new application at the ICD or not.
He noted that the bail application review for the kingdom prime minister, Johnson Thembo, has also been transferred to the ICD.
“We are happy with the new changes because it has been inconveniencing for the king and his co-accused in terms of distance as they had to report to Jinja High Court on a monthly basis,” Mr Makasi said.
In April 27, Mr Mumbere petitioned Jinja High Court, seeking to review what he called harsh bail terms, especially one restricting him from accessing his subjects in the Rwenzori Sub-region.
On September 10, Justice Michael Elubu of Jinja High Court started hearing the bail application review but was adjourned to October 2 (today) after the Principal State Attorney, Ms Margaret Nakigudde, asked for more time to consult and assess whether the king will be safe to return to his kingdom in Kasese District in western Uganda.
Since November 27, 2016 when the army arrested the Omusinga and detained him at the former Nalufenya detention center, he has never set foot in his kingdom.
It is at the ICD that he will seek to have such restrictions relaxed. His movement is currently restricted to the districts of Kampala, Jinja and Wakiso.
The King, together with over 200 loyalists and his prime minister Kisumbire were in November 2016, arrested following a siege by police and the military on his palace after skirmishes with the palace royal guards.
The siege reportedly left more than 100 people dead, including 14 police officers while over 200 people suspected to be palace royal guards remain in detention at Kirinya Prison in Jinja as they wait for their trial at the ICD.
The King and his co-accused face criminal charges ranging from treason, terrorism, murder, attempted murder and aggravated robbery.