The state has said it can’t allow Rwenzururu King (Omusinga) Charles Wesley Mumbere to return to his palace in Kasese because it is still a crime scene where investigations are still ongoing.
Mumbere recently in an application asked the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kololo to lessen on the stringent bail conditions that have seen him confined at his home in Muyenga for close to two years now without returning to his palace in Kasese.
In response, the state through Senior State Attorney Marion Ben Bella said investigations are still ongoing and that they cannot allow the Rwenzururu king return to his palace which is still a crime scene.
“The Kingdom palace in Muyenga cell, Nyakabugo II ward, Central Division in Kasese Municipality is still a protected crime scene where the applicant (Mumbere) is not allowed,” Ben Bella said while quoting an affidavit by Monday Johnson the leading investigator in the matter.
According to the state, because Omusinga wields so much power, if allowed to go to Kasese, he would interfere with ongoing investigations.
The state also noted that allowing Mumbere return to Kasese would be suicidal because similar incidents like the one that led to the attack on his palace would happen again, adding that his subjects want to make revenge.
“I got intelligence information which I verily believe that some of the applicant’s subjects who had fled to DRC have returned, reorganized, trained and ready to defend their king,” the state prosecutor said.
Mumbere was arrested on November 26, 2016, during an army raid on his Buhikira palace in Kasese Town and was later airlifted and detained at Nalufenya police station in Jinja district but was in January 2017 granted bail by the High Court in Jinja.
In its bail ruling, the High Court in Jinja in 2017 restricted the Omusinga to moving in only three districts of Kampala, Jinja and Wakiso but barred him from stepping foot in Kasese, Kabarole and Bundibugyo for fear of interfering with investigations into the Rwenzori region attacks.
In his application, the Omusinga through his lawyers of Caleb Alaka and Company Advocates, says the bail conditions set by the High Court in Jinja have made it difficult for him to enjoy his freedom.
“The bail conditions have been turned into a house arrest by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) instead of police guarding him. He cannot be even allowed to go for medication, Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa, one of Mumbere’s lawyers told journalists.
Mumbere is accused together with his royal guards of terrorism, treason, murder and aggravated robbery among other charges stemming from the November 2017 attack on his palace in Kasese by the army.
Justice Margaret Oumo Oguli adjourned the matter to September 24 for Mumbere’s lawyers to respond to the state.