Mumbere’s Legal Team: Negotiations with Gov’t Taking Shape

The negotiations to restore the freedom of King Charles Wesley Mumbere, who is battling terror charges in the International Crimes Division of the High Court are progressing, according to his legal team.

Alfred Makasi, who serves as both the lawyer for the Rwenzururu Kingdom and King Mumbere, revealed that since the commencement of peace talks with the government a few years ago, there have been visible but undisclosed outcomes.

Makasi highlighted that one of the results so far is that King Mumbere no longer appears in court as regularly as the other suspects, and there have been no complaints or inquiries regarding his whereabouts from either the prosecution or the pretrial Judge Alice Komuhangi Khaukha.

Makasi explained that as a King, Mumbere is under the custody of the state, and it is the state guards who decide whether he should appear in court. Additionally, certain matters related to the case were put on hold due to the ongoing negotiations.

Mumbere and more than 200 of his subjects face charges of murder, terrorism, treason, malicious damage to property, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, and other offenses allegedly committed during a 2016 raid at the Rwenzururu Kingdom’s palace. While Mumbere’s co-accused regularly attend court hearings, Mumbere’s appearances have been infrequent.

Makasi declined to provide further details about the negotiations but confirmed that the process is making progress. During a recent pretrial hearing, the state attorneys were absent due to an ongoing induction exercise, leading to the adjournment of the case to June 13th, 2023.

Individuals in custody at Jinja and Luzira prisons have been further remanded until the new hearing date, while those granted bail in locations such as Kampala, Bundibugyo, Fort Portal, and Kasese, who attended the hearing via Zoom, had their bail extended until then. King Mumbere, considered the prime suspect, was arrested on November 27th, 2016, along with 203 royal guards.

He was granted bail in 2017 but with restricted movements within Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono Districts. The negotiations between the Rwenzururu Kingdom and the government are aimed at achieving reconciliation and securing the freedom of King Mumbere and his subjects.

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