Police intercept the vehicle Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere was in
Right from the start, it was evident to Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere that the State were no ready to let him walk free. This came to pass a few hours later when police re-arrested him after being granted bail by the Jinja High Court on Friday evening.
At exactly 3pm, Justice Eva Luswata arrived in court and read her ruling on the bail application that took over 40 minutes.
“The application has been accepted, ” Luswata said, also putting travel restrictions on Mumbere as one of the measures to avoid resumption of violence in the Rwenzori region as had been highlighted by the state prosecutors.
“You will not be allowed to Kasese, Kabarole and Bundibugyo districts. You will only be allowed in Kampala, Jinja and Wakiso districts.”
According to the judge, the Rwenzururu king was allowed to apply for a new passport after informing the Jinja Chief Magistrate. Mumbere had earlier told court that all his documents including the diplomatic passport were destroyed during the November raid on his palace.
Usually, the norm is that on being granted freedom, the suspect would happily leave the dock to join his friends and relatives in jubilation, but this was not the case with Mumbere.
As his queen Agnes Ithungu, mother Christine Nyamukama Mukiranya and other subjects including Kasese MPs reached out to him to celebrate his release, Mumbere remained silent.
He was on several occasions seen trying to peep through the window as he watched policemen gather around court.
Mumbere boards his brother Christopher Kibanzanga’s car to leave court
Efforts to have him leave the dock by his lawyers and other subjects proved futile.
“I fear they might arrest me, “he said before spending over an hour in the dock.
It was after his team of lawyers led by Caleb Alaka convinced him to sign the bail form together with his 6 sureties that he agreed to leave the courtroom.
“Your Majesty, you are now a free man and I hand you over to the Queen (Agnes Ithungu),”Alaka said.
He was then led to the court cells by prison warders for signing prison documents.
He was then set free and majestically moved out of the court cells with his queen waving to their subjects. This happiness would however be cut short.
Meanwhile, for the lawyers and Kasese legislators, they anticipated something was wrong.
Leader of Opposition, Winnie Kiiza was quick to warn government not to do any ‘nasty’ thing by re-arresting the Omusinga.
Prisons officers watching the rearrest of Mumbere
“This case has made government naked and they should not make themselves more naked by trying to re-arrest him,” Kiiza told journalists.
For lawyer Sam Muyizzi, this was something similar to the infamous ‘Black Mamba’ re-arrest of opposition strongman Dr. Kizza Besigye.
“At first we thought it was simply beefing up security to protect him but we have realized it is something else,” Muyizzi told journalists.
Mumbere together with his queen Ithungu would later accept to sit into his brother and agriculture state minister Christopher Kibanzanga’s car ready to be driven out of court premises.
Outside court premises was a waiting black police van and another patrol vehicle as they kept an eye at what was going on inside the court.
A few meters to the court exit, the convoy that included Kiiza, stopped and Mumbere ordered the driver not to move anywhere.
“It is not safe moving out of court. I will stay here even if it means spending 2 weeks. I know they want to arrest me but they will only do so if they have a warrant, “Mumbere said.
Later, there was a visible disagreement between Omusinga and his brother Kibanzanga as the latter tried to convince the king to accept to move out.
After almost 2 hours, Mumbere agreed to drive out of the court premises, only to be intercepted by the Kiira region Deputy RPC Onesmus Mwesigwa.
He asked the Rwenzururu to open the door, spoke to him briefly and was arrested.
Police would later bundle him into the waiting van and drive to an unknown destination.
The police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi later confirmed they had arrested Omusinga and detained him at an unnamed police station in Jinja.
“It is in connection with fresh charges. They range from murder to terrorism,” Kaweesi said.
He said that the fresh charges are specific for Omusinga committed in the Rwenzori region.
“We found out that people were murdered and acts of terrorism and Mumbere is individually connected to those crimes.”