Rwenzururu veterans thrown out of meeting for confessing to Museveni

Sunday February 05 2017
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Some of the Rwenzururu kingdom officials who were blocked from attending the meeting. Courtesy photo

Some Rwenzururu veterans who are said to

Yiira state: Veterans confess to Museveni

Tuesday January 10 2017

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KASESE. Some Rwenzururu veterans have conceded before President Museveni that they have been a force behind the establishment of the Yiira state and the conflicts in the Rwenzori region.
“Peace dialogue takes a new direction as some Rwenzururu Veterans consent to have been behind the Yiira state establishment and therefore responsible for the conflicts in Rwenzori region,” Rwenzururu Kingdom spokesperson, Mr Clearance Bwambale, told Daily monitor on Monday.
He said the veterans, who met the President at the weekend, admitted to have been responsible for the killings in Kasese and asked for forgiveness.
The revelation transpired during the second meeting the President held with some war veterans and the royal family at State House Nakasero on Sunday night.
He explained that the veterans endorsed the declaration in the presence of the royal family members represented by the queen mother, Christine Biira, queen Agnes Mumbere, Prince William Kibanzanga and Christopher Kibanzanga.
During the meeting, he noted, the veterans asked President Museveni to pardon them, which he did and tasked them to preach peace in the region.
“These veterans signed a document in the presence of the royal family committing themselves and the President tasked them to move around the region mobilising for peace in the community,” Mr Bwambale said.
He also noted that Mr Museveni promised to settle them with some money so that they do not engage in acts that distort peace as a means of improving their livelihood.
Speaking to Daily Monitor, King Charles Mumbere’s brother, Prince William Kibanzanga, said “those veterans should go to Kasese and apologise to the people for having caused the deaths of innocent people in the name of forming the Yiira state.”
The veterans include Mr Tanasi Sikumoya, Yoweri Nzyiabake, Vincent Kapilongo, Mberemu Balikurungi, Kesia and Katya.
Some political leaders, however, disassociated themselves from the group of Rwezururu veterans, wondering why President Museveni ‘easily’ pardoned the people who caused the killings in the region.
Kasese Municipality MP, Mr Robert Centenary, told Daily Monitor that the veterans are traitors and asked why they have gone unpunished by the State with all the crimes they committed since 2012.
“Now that we have got the people who caused the killings in Kasese, we want them to be taken to court. Why did [Mr] Museveni hurriedly pardon them, they should be prosecuted, they should not walk away with impunity,” Mr Centenary said.
He also added that the fact that the President has promised to give them some money, can only be interpreted as a bribe for them to make the confession.

What veterans put to paper

Issues. Admit attacks on police posts and that defiance of government authority is regrettable. Apologise to the people and government of Uganda. Acknowledge that the incident could have been averted. That the Omusinga (King) was misadvised by some individuals within the region. Remorseful, they seek tranquillity and security of the Rwenzori region.

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that they have been a force behind the establishment of the Yiira state and the conflicts in the Rwenzori region have been blocked from attending the meeting which officials from the kingdom had organized ahead of King Charles Wesley Mumbere's bail hearing tomorrow.
According to kingdom spokesperson, Mr Clarence Bwambale, today’s meeting is aimed at harmonizing their operations and fostering peace in Rwenzori region. He said the meeting is expected to come up with operational guidelines since the King is on remand.

Mumbere faces 41 counts including murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and treason among others. According to Mr Mumbahya, there have been uncoordinated activities, which have seen some kingdom subjects acting on behalf of the institution for their selfish interests.
Mr Bwambale said on the agenda included the issue of Rwenzururu veterans who reportedly confessed to president, Museveni in December last year that they played a leading role during the November clashes.
He said as kingdom officials, they want to establish the exact motive of the veterans.

Those invited for the meeting included Rwenzururu veterans led by Yolamu Mulima and Vincent Kapilongo, Obusinga minister, their deputies, clan leaders, chieftains, obusinga youth leaders and the Kingdom house of representatives. Yeremia Mutooro, the acting Rwenzururu premier is expected to chair the meeting at Kasese Multipurpose hall.
However, when the veterans turned up for the meeting, the Cabinet ministers and clan leaders reportedly threatened vowed to march out if the veterans who reportedly confessed to president Museveni were allowed to attend the meeting.
The orgnisers were left with no option but to block accused persons.
The meeting is still underway.