On 26 November 2016, violence erupted in the town of Kasese, the capital of the Ugandan kingdom of Rwenzururu, when the Uganda National Police raided the government offices of the Rwenzururu kingdom, killing eight Rwenzururu royal guards and arresting two others.
According to the government of Uganda, the raid was in response to militant attacks on police posts in the region two weeks earlier, allegedly perpetrated by the royal guards.
On the next day, the armed forces and the police raided the Rwenzururu royal palace after the expiration of an ultimatum issued by the Ugandan government, resulting in the deaths of 87 royal guards and 16 policemen. Following the raids, the omusinga (king) of Rwenzururu, Charles Mumbere, was arrested and charged with murder.
Now there’s growing tension in Kasese town among residents for fear of a possible outbreak of another fighting after Matayo Bwanzire, an armed member of Kirumiramutim group” a group loyal to the Rwenzururu king ; Charles Wesley Mumbere was gunned down.
Matayo Bighanzire has been the local council vice chairperson, and was shot dead at his home at about 8am on Friday, according to Samson Bagenda the Bwesumbu sub county chairperson.
Bagenda says that operatives first beat up the deceased together with his wife and children before he was gunned down. The assailants reportedly accused him of being a royal guard of the Rwenzururu Kingdom.
Bwesumbu sub county was at the receiving end of the raids in November last year against suspected Rwenzururu Kingdom militia with over 30 people killed by security operatives.
One of the residents who spoke on condition of anonymity says he rushed to Bighanzire’s home shortly after hearing gunshots and met at least seven UPDF soldiers on the way. The source says the soldiers asked him what the name of the deceased was adding that they had shot him dead because he was a Rwenzururu royal guard.
The UPDF 2nd Division spokesperson Maj. Peter Mugisa confirmed the killing.
Maj. Mugisa says army officers from the Kasangali Detach waylaid Bwanzire at his house Friday morning, and when he was ordered to come out of the house, he instead jumped through the window with two knives and grabbed one Private Wycliffe Amanya and stabbed him on the shoulder and the head.
In self-defense, Pte Amanya shot him dead.
The incident happened at Kasangali, Ruhara Parish, Bwensumbo Sub County in Busongora North, Kasese district.
Mugisa says the UPDF is aware of the Kirumiramutima group trainings going on in Bunyangabo District. He says the members move at night crossing R. Mubuku to Kasangali to terrorize locals.
“We know their intentions; but our forces are on ground to capture these evil people and bring them to book” he noted
Maj Mugisa assured people of Rwenzori of maximum security and called upon the largely youthful Kirumira Mutima group to stop their illegal activities and surrender to the government security organs.
Recently, another residents identified as Arthur Mbarage an elder and Councilor of Bwisumbo Sub County was also ambushed and stabbed to near death by unknown assailants.
He said the group thought the old man had died, but fortunately he survived and identified some of the attackers as Matayo Bwanzire (the deceased) and one Kule Mawano.