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Religious leaders in Kasese appeal to government to pardon incarcerated Rwenzururu King

By Zalimon Basighalha (Goodluck)

The appeal to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pardon the Rwenzururu King, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-ngoma and a section of Royal Guards on Wednesday dominated the 36th NRM Liberation Day celebrations in Kasese district.

The Omusinga was arrested on November 27, 2016 during a joint operation of the Army and police on the Buhikira Royal Place in Kasese town, leaving scores of people dead.

However, in January last year, High Court in Jinja granted bail to the 132 Royals after four years under detention.

Now, at Wednesday’s celebrations organized by the Kasese Municipality MP, Ferigo Kambale in the Railway Ward of the Central Division in Kasese Municipality, religious leaders publicly appealed to the President to pardon the Omusinga and his Royal Guards who are still under incarceration. 

At an ecumenical service led by Rev. Misaki Baluku, the Vicar at St. Stephen’s Kikonzo Anglican Church of Uganda Parish, one Rev.

Mukulumba of the Life Ministries and the Imam for Kidodo mosque among others said since the president has all the powers to pardon anyone, he should therefore use the same powers to forgive and unconditionally release the Omusinga and the Royal Guards so that they regain their freedom and rejoin their families.

In their prayer sessions at the function, the religious leaders the religious leaders prayed that President Museveni kindly forgive the Omusinga, the remaining royal guards and the entire Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu in order to restore peace in the region as well as building a strong relationship between the Cultural institution and the Central government.

Article 121(1)(a) of the 1995 constitution of Uganda and on the advice of the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy, gives powers to the President of Uganda to grant any person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions.

It should be noted that on January 17, 2022, President Museveni pardoned 79 inmates including one Venezuelan on medical and humanitarian grounds.

The Kasese Municipality Member of Parliament, Ferigo Kambale, told the gathering that as legislators from Kasese district, they were working hard to engage the government and spearhead negotiations aimed at releasing the Rwenzururu King.

In his remarks, the retired Bishop of South Rwenzori Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Jackson Thembo Nzerebende, applauded the President of Uganda for his initiative of deploying the UPDF soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying the act has started yielding fruits because peace and stability are partly restored.

Meanwhile a total of 90 Forum for Democratic Change supporters in Kasese district crossed to the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM at the same function as well as welcoming officially a team of strong opposition politicians especially from the FDC party who crossed to the NRM party on December 07, 2022 by the Kasese District NRM Publicity Secretary, Johnson Kamalha Kalyasa.

The defectors led by the former Kasese District Vice Chairperson and Kasese Municipality FDC parliamentary candidate, Gideon Sanyu Ntabose included Godfrey Bwambale Bwerere, the former District Council Speaker, Moses Bwambale Bikoba, the former NUP candidate for the District Chairpersonship, Ruth Kabugho, the former District Secretary for Social Services and Bashir Bwambale, the FDC Chairperson for the Railway Ward in Kasese Municipality.

Others are Bazilio Masereka Kabagambe, the former District Councilor representing Kilembe Sub-county, MisakiMusoka, the former aspirant for the L.C III Chairperson Kyarumba sub-county and Neckson Thaheramboko, who once worked as a Political Assistant for the former Kasese Municipality MP, Robert Franco Centenary but later joined Ntabose’s camp in the 2021 general elections.

The defectors were officially received by the National Vice Chairperson for the NRM Party in-charge of Western region, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, who also doubles as the Minister of ICT and National Guidance  at   Kikorongo Safaris in Lake Katwe sub-county in December last year.

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