Rwenzururu kingdom is mourning the death of the late Leo Baluku Owanziake, the father-in-law to Omusinga (King) Charles Wesley Mumbere.
According to the Nyabaghole (Queen) Agnes Ithungu Asiimawe, her father, a resident of Kyamuduma II village in Mahango sub-county, Kasese District passed on Wednesday morning as he was returning home from routine medication at the Uganda Cancer Institute.
The queen said her father, 75, succumbed to prostate cancer which he has been battling since 2015 when it was diagnosed.
“My father has been with us (at Mumbere’s residence in Muyenga, Kampala) since March this year as he has been going for routine medical check-ups and treatment at the cancer institute. After, getting a little better, he decided to return home but he did not make it,” The Nyabaghole told Daily Monitor at the City Mortuary on Wednesday afternoon.
She narrated that, Mzee Baluku breathed his last around Kabalagala as the driver was aiming at connecting to the northern bypass to be able to travel to Kasese.
“He was holding my hands when he died. I was saying my goodbyes to him and he just stopped talking and we realised he was dead. We will miss my father because he was my comforter during all the troubles we are passing through as a royal family,” she said.
The body was immediately taken to the city mortuary as the kingdom officials and family were coordinating the burial arrangements.
Kingdom spokesperson, Mr Clarence Bwambale told Daily Monitor on phone from Kasese that, the Omusinga is mourning his father in law.
“The Omusinga is in his Kampala palace mourning his father-in-law. He has been close to the deceased throughout the sickness and will issue a statement soon,” Mr Bwambale said.
On Wednesday afternoon, kingdom officials, political leaders from Kasese, and Rwennzururu subjects flocked the city mortuary to console the Nyabaghole.
Kasese Woman Member of Parliament and former Leader of Opposition in parliament, Ms Winfred Kiiza, Bukonzo East MP, Harold Tonny Muhindo, Kasese district LC V Vice Chairperson, Mr Gideon Ntabose, and former Bukonzo East MP Yokasi Bihande were at the mortuary by the time this reporter visited.
Kingdom officials were led by the Speaker of the cultural institution’s parliament (Ekyaghanda), Mr Enoch Muhindo, accompanied by Ms Juliet Best Bakoko a member of the Prime Ministerial Commission.
Ms Kiiza described the deceased as an “adviser on cultural matters” who has died before seeing the cultural institution return to its former status.
“We have lost an adviser on cultural matters and a person who preached peaceful co-existence. He has been a pillar for the kingdom but we shall carry on with his values because we cannot let down his struggle,” Ms Kiiza said.
The Nyabaghole said that burial arrangements have been finalised.
Burials will be held on Friday at Kyamuduma II village, Mahango sub-county at 2pm.
The deceased is survived by a widow and 10 children.
The Omusinga Mumbere despite being restricted from travelling to Kasese as a result of his bail conditions, did not visit the mortuary because traditionally, monarch as supposed to see dead bodies or bury.