Nine dropped as King Mumbere reshuffles Rwenzururu cabinet

Rwenzururu King Charles Mumbere (C) poses for a photo with some members of his new cabinet on March 28, 2o24. PHOTO/JEROME K BITSWANDE 

What you need to know:

  • The reshuffle comes two months after the Omusinga directed all his ministers with political ambitions to declare their interests.
  • Mumbere has urged his cabinet to ensure good ties with government to avoid deadly clashes. 

Omusinga Wa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere Iremangoma Thursday afternoon reshuffled his cabinet, dropping and replacing nine cabinet ministers.

Those dropped include Edwin Kugonza who has served as deputy kingdom prime minister for six years, culture minister Ericana Ndyoka Baluku and deputy attorney general David Bwambale Kongolo.

Others include Selevest Bwambale Caritas (minister for lands and agriculture), John Byaruhanga Thawite (information) and Yoweri Kaguta.

The king also fired gender minister Aida Syauswa and Lawrence Tiruganya who was in charge of Education. Some of the ministers in mention were appointed in August 2020 to replace a commission that had steered the kingdom for about three years.

Mumbere’s reshuffle comes nearly six months after his return to his kingdom, following his release.

On Thursday, he named Benson Kule Baritazaale as Deputy Prime Minister while Aganatia Katya was appointed cultural minister.

Lawyer Herbert Baluku Bagheni becomes Deputy attorney general and justice minister.

Geoffrey Kanyonyi and Barbara Kabanyoro Ndahura Amoooti join cabinet as minister for information and kingdom spokesperson respectively while Naume Mbambu is charged with the Ministry of Lands.

The Omusinga retained Prime Minister Joseph Kule Muranga and also absorbed him in the Privy Council, the topmost organ of the kingdom.

Rwenzururu has also introduced a new docket of the Ministry of Youth, arts and talent development led by Gad Klemon Kule and Hosea Baluku.

Meanwhile, the Omusinga also strengthened the ministry of Inter-cultural Cooperation and external relations by placing Anuarite Kyalima from Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC as deputy minister to Lucy Kabanyoro.

The Chairperson of the Interfaith Committee of the Rwenzori sub-region, Rev Ezra Yongeza Mukonzo and Lawrence Baluku were also appointed minister and deputy minister of religious affairs.

The gender ministry will be led by Best Juliet Bakoko, deputised by Lydia Biira as Fr Patrick Muhesi  Baluku takes charge of finance.

According to the kingdom, at least five of the ministers dropped expressed intentions to contest for different political offices in the 2026 general elections.

"As you are aware, the law bars cultural leaders from participating in elective politics. There are also others who we couldn't continue holding positions of responsibility due to ill health," Omusinga explained.

He added: "I want to thank all of you, most of whom I appointed when I was still under incarceration. It was a very difficult time because there was still general fear that even my associates could be charged with the offences I was battling.”

Mumbere tasked the new leaders to ensure the kingdom realises sustainable development hinged on its 10-year development plan.

He also called on his cabinet to strengthen good ties with the government, warning members against anything similar to the 2016 violence in which more than 150 people were killed and more than 200 including the king arrested during clashes between the state and Rwenzururu.