More than 180 suspected royal gurads of Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere have surrendered to security agencies in Kasese District.
The suspects accused of involvement in clashes with government forces since September in Kabarole and Kasese districts that culminated in the palace attack by the army, heeded a call by the government to surrender voluntarily or face arrest.
The November 27 palace attack left about 116 people dead and the Rwenzururu King Mumbere and 130 of his loyalists arrested.
Kasese Resident District Commissioner James Mwesigye last Saturday said: “Yes, many have surrendered. The number is so far around 180. They have been given police bond, not amnesty. Amnesty is only given by the President.”
Asked to state the exact figure, Mr Mwesigye said: “The exact figure will be determined after January 1, but they are more than 180 and they are living peacefully in their homes.”
He explained that the suspects were given police bond because some of them are linked to the clashes that occurred with government forces since 2014.
He said many of the suspects have been hiding following the attack on the Rwenzururu Kingdom palace that left more than 100 people dead and resulted in the arrest of King Charles Mumbere and more than 130 loyalists. “As police, we have given bond to those who have surrendered and we call upon those who are still in hiding to report to any police post near their areas of residence,” the police spokesperson for Rwenzori East region, Mr Manshur Sowedi, said.
“As long as they report to any police post in the district, they will be granted bond and one will be free to move in the district.” Mr Manshur added.
He said that as security agencies, they are calling upon the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu officials to bridge the gap between security organs and the institution to resolve the conflict in Rwenzori.
Rwenzori East regional police commander Agapitus Ecotu, said there is need to create harmony between the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu cultural institution and government rather than looking at each other as enemies.
He called for information sharing between the kingdom’s officials and security to eliminate misinformation.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Enock Muhindo, stressed that the breakdown of communication between security organs and the cultural institution can’t be blamed on one side but on all organs.
“Both sides were involved in the conflict so both have to come together to find solutions to this crisis,” Mr Muhindo said.
King Charles Wesley Mumbere, 64, is facing charges ranging from treason, terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery, attempted murder, to malicious damage to property that attract death by hanging on conviction apart from the last two charges.