By Ambrose Kweronda
NRM diehard and senior activist Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda, expressed his astonishment at the government’s audacity to claim that they have forgiven Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere, despite detaining him for a full seven years without finding him guilty of any of the charges levied against him.
In 2016, King Mumbere, along with over 200 royal guards and several kingdom officials, was arrested following a military raid on the Buhikira Royal Palace in Kasese. This violent attack resulted in the death of over 100 people and numerous injuries.
King Mumbere and his subjects were accused of multiple crimes, including murder, terrorism, treason, malicious damage to property, attempted murder, and aggravated robbery, among others.
During a recent court appearance to discuss the progress of the trial preparations, Principal State Attorney Lillian Omara informed the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had lost interest in the case and was withdrawing the charges against the accused individuals.
In an exclusive interview, Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda remarked that the release of the King and his subjects mirrored previous instances in Uganda where politicians were detained and released without any changes being made.
He also suggested that President Museveni may be feeling pressured due to the upcoming 2026 presidential election, fearing a potential loss to his son, Muhoozi.
Fr. Gaetano emphasized that, with the 2026 elections on the horizon, the President or his son might be seeking a sympathy vote from the people of Kasese by convincing them that they have forgiven their King.
He further stated that the government should be transparent and reveal the charges they found King Charles Wesley Mumbere and his subjects guilty of, instead of simply announcing their forgiveness after unjustly detaining them for an extended period.
It should be noted that in October 2022, the International Crimes Division (ICD) granted an application to protect 70 witnesses that the prosecutors intended to rely upon during the trial of Mumbere and his co-accused.
Additionally, over 100 exhibits were prepared and shared with Mumbere’s lawyers in preparation for the trial