Uganda: State Drops Charges Against Omusinga Mumbere, 200 Royal Guards

The state has dropped treason, terrorism and murder charges against Omusinga Charles Wesley and 217 of his royal guards.

Omusinga was arrested together with his royal guards in November 2016 when the police and the army raided his Buhikira palace in Kasese.

On Tuesday when the case returned for pre-trial conferencing, the state represented by Lilian Omara, Marion Benbella and Jackline Okui told court that the accused had applied for amnesty.

“The DPP is not opposing the amnesty but is facilitating this process. The DPP has therefore entered a nolle prosequi for the 218 accused persons for all the offences they are indicted of,” Omara told court.

She noted that the proceedings are therefore discontinued.

Speaking in response, trial judge, Alice Komuhangi Kaukha ordered that those on remand at Jinja Main prison and Luzira prison and those on bail should be discharged.

The charges

Mumbere was arrested together with royal guards in November 2016 after a joint operation by the army and police led to storming of his Buhikira Palace in Kasese Town in which 136 people were killed.

Mumbere was later airlifted and detained at Nalufenya police station in Jinja district but was granted bail by the High Court in Jinja

The Omusinga and his royal guards face several charges of treason, terrorism, murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property.

He recently started negotiations with government over amnesty that would see him and over 200 royal guards pardoned and released.

By the time the charges were dropped today, seven years had passed since the Kasese attack.

Whereas Mumbere was released on bail, he has since been stopped from stepping foot in Kasese unless granted permission by court.

On the other side, a big chunk of his royal guards were granted bail, others died in prison while some are still prison.

However, two of the royal guards including Thembo Kitsumbire and Kamada Mashereka didnt benefit from the amnesty and were ordered to return to court next month.

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