Omusinga Mumbere directs cabinet to declare political ambitions for 2026 elections

Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere. 

What you need to know:

  • The Rwenzururu leader stated that this directive aims to prevent the kingdom from becoming entangled in politics during the upcoming 2026 general election.

Rwenzururu King Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere has instructed all members of his cabinet to publicly declare their political ambitions in anticipation of the 2026 general elections.

King Mumbere emphasized that serving ministers of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu must transparently communicate their intentions, facilitating the formation of a new administrative team for the Kingdom.

“I am writing to instruct you to ask the current serving ministers to declare if anyone has an interest in contesting for political office in the coming elections. They must do so now so that we can determine the OBR administrative team from now forward,” Mumbere’s January 14, 2024 letter to the Omulerembera [Prime Minister] reads in part

The Rwenzururu leader stated that this directive aims to prevent the kingdom from becoming entangled in politics during the upcoming 2026 general election.

“We should act proactively and avoid mixing politics in Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu. I expect to receive the names and possibly their letters requesting leave for this purpose so that we can excuse them to participate in partisan politics away from OBR structures,” Mumbere added.

The kingdom has consistently held a central role in the politics of Kasese, with many aspirants for political office seeking endorsement from the kingdom. Several of the district's current leaders had previously served the kingdom in various capacities within the cabinet.

Rwenzururu Kingdom Prime Minister, Mr Joseph Kule Muranga, emphasised that the king's directive is timely, aiming to shield the kingdom from becoming entangled in partisan politics.

In an interview with Daily Monitor on Wednesday, Mr Muranga said five Kingdom ministers, whose identities he did not disclose, have already expressed their intention to run for political office. Consequently, they will soon be relieved of their duties within the kingdom to focus on pursuing their political aspirations.

“You see as an institution, we are all-welcoming despite people’s different political party affiliations. It is therefore important that our officers are not directly linked to political parties if we are to serve our people better. We cannot afford to be dragged into partisan politics,” Muranga said.

The Minister for Culture and Native Administration, Mr Baluku Ericana Ndyoka, has officially confirmed his intention to seek the Bukonzo County East parliamentary seat.

"It is true that I intend to contest in the forthcoming election for the position of Member of Parliament Bukonzo County East. Following the directive of the Omusinga, I have already declared my interest, and I know that very soon, I will be relieved of my duties," he said.

Mr Baluku, affiliated to the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party is likely to face competition from the former Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Selevest Caritas.

Additionally, the kingdom’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Edwin Kugonza, is reportedly considering running for the same seat on the NRM ticket.

Among other kingdom officials expressing political aspirations, the Deputy Attorney General, Mr David Kongolo, is aspiring for the Busongora County South constituency seat. 

The deputy Minister of Information, Mr Yoweri Kaguta, confirmed to this publication that he has declared his intention to leave the cabinet but not to join politics.

The unfolding developments coincide with the National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s launch of its election roadmap. Mr Richard Todwong, ruling party’s secretary general revealed that their initial steps involve a comprehensive review of the voters' register and the registration of new members.

"We are reaching out to every village across the country to clean our members' register. Our goal is to authenticate the party register, and we aim to register 2.5 million leaders at the grassroots level," he said.

Simultaneously, opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has proactively initiated preparations for the upcoming general election. The party has urged interested members aspiring to be FDC candidates to obtain and complete expression of interest forms- to enable them identify potential candidates in advance.