The spate of killings that rocked the Rwenzururu kingdom over the weekend has prompted a group of Kasese Members of Parliament to blame the government for “failure to keep peace in Rwenzori sub region.”
Sixty two people died and hundreds were injured before and after the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere’s Royal Palace in Kasese was raided on Sunday.
Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary demanded for the unconditional release of the Rwenzururu king as well as a detailed list of lives lost, the people arrested and those still missing.
“How could those officers arrest our king in such a degrading manner? If a member of parliament like me can prostrate before him, who are they to manhandle him?”
The chairperson of the parliament Human rights committee, also Mitooma Woman MP Jovah Kamateeka, demanded that the security officials apologize for using excessive force during their attack on the palace.
In a press conference at parliament on Monday, Bukonzo West MP Godfrey Atkins Katusabe who was in the palace before the attack charged that the royal guards had surrendered to UPDF and other security officers, but the soldiers went ahead to attack the palace.
“The royal guards conceded and we were there waiting for the trucks for evacuation, not waiting for war. I pleaded with the CDF to hold on but we saw mambas and were forced out. What followed was massacring and killing of innocent lives. I was there,” Katusabe said.
Security officials insist the Rwenzururu militia were given deadlines to surrender that they refused to respond to, thus the assault.
The death toll from the clashes in Kasese is reported to have since risen to 101, as police continued to patrol the area to curb more violence, according to Mansur Sowed, the Rwenzori Regional police commander.
Katusabe and other political leaders from Kasese district were reportedly inside the Palace in a meeting with the king, Charles Wesley Mumbere negotiating for peaceful resolution of the conflict when the attack occurred.
Narrating the ordeal, Katusabe said while in the meeting, he was constantly in touch with the UPDF operations Commander Brig. Brig Peter Elweru and other army officers.
According to Busongora North MP, William Musabe Nzoghu, the latest attack on the Rwenzururu palace was uncalled for and the police acted in an inhumane manner.
“The police shall protect the lives and property of citizens but they are the ones doing the reverse. The accusations by government are totally manufactured and aimed to malign the people of Rwenzori,” Nzoghu stated.
According to Police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the police found light ammunition including hand-made bombs, bows and arrows, and spears, among others.
Kaweesi stated that the guards were part of a militia group known as “Kirumira Mutima” that was planning to attack security personnel.
Mps visit Omusinga in Nalufenya
The MPs from Kasese later traveled to Nalufenye prison in Jinja where the Omusinga is currently detained to visit him.
According to Robert Centenary, the king needs special medical attention because he is diabetic and hypertensive and cannot get the required care in a prison.
KTN Journalist Joy Doreen Biira free
Meanwhile, KTN Journalist Joy Doreen Biira was released on police bond following the intervention of the leader of opposition also Kasese district woman Mp Winnie Kiiza.
She was however, charged with abetting terrorism.