Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere and his young brother Christopher Kibanzanga have disagreed over dates and site to bury their mother Christine Biira Mukirania.
Mukirania who has been the Queen Mother of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) Kingdom died at Kilembe Mines Hospital on Tuesday, June 11. The 85-year-old woman had been battling hypertension and diabetes for some time.
A programme released by the Rwenzururu Kingdom Spokesperson Yonah Maathe Tumusiime on Wednesday 12 had indicated that Ms Mukirania would be buried on the Sunday on one of her estates in Kirembo village of Kisinga sub-county –Kasese district.
However, Kibanzanga the Kingdom’s Chief Prince who also doubles the Minister of State for Agriculture on Thursday afternoon declared that he had taken over the burial arrangements of her mother.
Kibanzanga said he had been holed up in meetings with the kingdom officials since the demise of the queen mother but they have failed to reach a consensus. He thus said he was going to bury Mukirania as his mother at Kirindi village in Bundibugyo Sub County, their ancestral home.
Isaya Mukirania Kibanzanga I, who is the father to both Mumbere and Kibanzanga was born and raised at Kirindi.
It is in 1962 after he had waged rebellion against Tooro Kingdom that he shifted to Kasese as a tactical base. He eventually died there in 1966 and was buried at Bulemba in Ihandiro Sub County.
Kibanzanga who initially represented Kasese’s Busongora County South constituency in parliament currently represents Bughendera County in Bundibugyo district.
He told URN that he was going to bury her mother where the struggle against the oppression of the Bakonzo, Bamba and Babwisi people, which the deceased used to pride in, started.
Rwenzururu Kingdom’s chairperson of the Prime Ministerial Committee Gad Mbayahi, however, disagreed with Kibanzanga.
He argued that owing to the reputation and status of the deceased in the kingdom, she ought to be buried in Kasese, the headquarters Rwenzururu Kingdom.
The developments were brought to the attention of the Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere, who has directed the deceased queen mother should be buried in Kasese.
He, however, suggests change of venue from Kirembo in Kisinga Sub County to Nyamirangara village of Muhokya Sub County where the mother also had a piece of land.
“The OBR Constitution allows me to direct in the event that two parties have failed to agree. Nyamukama, therefore, should be buried in Kasese where the seat of the Rwenzururu Kingdom is and also where her deceased husband is buried.” Mumbere said.
The Rwenzururu leader also directed that the burial of Mukirania should be shifted from Sunday 16 to Tuesday 18 to enable more people who want to mourn attend her funeral.
Mumbere’s movements are restricted to Kampala, Wakiso and Jinja districts as part of the conditions given to him when he was granted bail in 2017. The bail terms also particularly barred him from stepping foot in Bundibugyo and Kasese districts.
On Wednesday Judiciary spokesperson Solomon Muyita revealed that Mumbere was at liberty to apply for a temporary relaxation of the bail terms to enable him bury his mother.
Mumbere is currently battling a series of charges at the International Crimes Division of the High Court. Some of the charges he is facing include murder, terrorism, treason, arson and malicious damage.
However, on Wednesday through his lawyers Eron Kiiza, Caleb Alaka and Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, he applied for temporary relaxation of his bail terms to enable him buries his mother.
In his affidavit, Mumbere argues that there are some rituals that he ought to perform as king and son to the queen mother before she is laid to rest. Court is yet to rule on the application.
The body of the deceased is currently being kept at Buhinga Hospital mortuary in Fort Portal town, Kabarole district.