Business paralyzed as Mumbere returns to Kasese after 7 years

Business paralyzed as Mumbere returns to Kasese after 7 years
Excitement as the king of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere returns home

Kasese, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | On Wednesday 4, October 2023, the town of Kasese witnessed a complete standstill as thousands of subjects from the Rwenzururu Kingdom gathered to warmly welcome Charles Wesley Mumbere, the cultural leader of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR). The long-awaited event brought life in the town to a halt, creating an atmosphere of jubilation and excitement.

By 2:00 PM, the area between Rukoki Bridge and the roundabout was packed with people, enthusiastically dancing as a helicopter carrying the royal family touched down at Kasese Airfield.

Trucks, filled with jubilant subjects from distant districts such as Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, and Bunyangabu, arrived throughout the day. In addition, Boda boda riders swarmed through the town, brandishing posters of King Mumbere and waving tree branches in celebration, with the festivities extending well into the night. Hima saw another gathering in the town council, where locals described this as the grand return of their cultural leader.

Meanwhile, a separate group of subjects lined up along Rwenzori road, eagerly awaiting Mumbere’s passage on his way to the golf course in Kilembe. It was at the golf course that he would later address his subjects in a much-anticipated speech.

Mumbere’s arrival at Kasese Airfield around 2:10 PM was met with resounding cheers from the assembled throng. He finally reached the golf course at approximately 5:00 PM, where thousands more eagerly anticipated his words.

Stanley Kitanda, a devoted supporter of OBR, hailed Charles Wesley Mumbere’s return as a historic moment. He expressed that he and many others had lost hope of seeing their cultural leader return to the kingdom any time soon. Kitanda commended the government’s efforts in working closely with the cultural institution to facilitate reconciliation between the two parties.

Rwenzururu king Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere had not been in his Kingdom since 2016.

Roset Biira, a resident of Kasese municipality, shared her excitement at the safe return of the cultural leader. She expressed her hope that King Mumbere would provide guidance to his subjects, promoting development and peaceful coexistence.

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Enock Baluku, who had traveled from Bundibugyo district, called upon OBR subjects to prioritize peace and work towards positive change and development now that the much-awaited return had occurred. He expressed his hope that the king and his cabinet would formulate development agendas beneficial to the youth.

John Sirilwayo stressed the importance of Charles Wesley Mumbere’s return as a new beginning toward development, emphasizing the need for collaboration with the existing government. He believed that this moment presented valuable lessons for the subjects, and they should strive to prevent any recurrence of past conflicts within the cultural institution.

In June of this year, the Director of Public Prosecution dropped all charges against King Mumbere and dozens of his subjects. King Mumbere, along with more than 200 kingdom subjects, had been arrested in 2016 following a military raid on the Buhikira Royal Palace in Kasese.