By Andrew Irumba
Kasese: The nation today waits for court to rule on whether Rwenzururu king Omusinga Wesley Mumbere shall be allowed to attend his late mother Christine Biira Mukirania’s funeral, or not.
But as we wait for the court ruling, we have learnt that already a bitter clash is raging on between Mumbere and the Rwenzururu Chief Prince Christopher Kibazanga, who is his younger brother. SpyUganda has learnt that initially, a programme released by the Rwenzururu Kingdom Spokesperson Yonah Maathe Tumusiime, on Wednesday 12, had indicated that Ms Mukirania would be buried on Sunday at one of her estates in Kirembo village, Kisinga sub-county –Kasese district. However, Kibanzanga, who also doubles as the Minister of State for Agriculture, on Thursday afternoon declared that he had taken over the burial arrangements of their 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. That is why Kibazanga wants to bury their mother in Kirindi. Mukirania who has been the Queen Mother of 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. Kibanzanga is former a Member of Parliament for Busongora County South constituency, although he is currently the MP for Bughendera County in Bundibugyo district. 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 Rwenzururu leader has since 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. The body of the deceased is currently being kept at Buhinga Hospital mortuary in Fort Portal town, Kabarole district. However, 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. The ruling for the same is expected to be made by court today. Mumbere is currently battling a series of charges at the International Crimes Division of the High Court, which include murder, terrorism, treason, arson and malicious damage.