Who is Charles Wesley Mumbere? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, early life, wife, education, family, relationship with Agnes Ithungu Asiimwe, current news, Kasese killings, Omusinga of the Rwenzururu Kingdom, Kasese District, Rwenzori Sub-region.
Charles Wesley Mumbere is known for his royal title Irema-Ngoma I.
He is the 2nd king, traditionally known as the Omusinga of the Rwenzururu Kingdom in the Kasese District of Uganda, Rwenzori Sub-region, a mountainous region bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the western part of Uganda.
The Rwenziruru Kingdom
The Rwenzururu Kingdom was established in 1962 following the secessionist Rwenziruru movement by the Bakonzo, a tribe that constitutes the kingship based in western Uganda, Rwenzori Sub-region, a mountainous region in Kasese District.
The revolt was led by Isaya Mukirane, Mumbere’s father who was then recognized as the region’s king. Mumbere thereafter got crowned as the next Rwenziruru King at the age of 13 following the death of his father who was the king of the Rwenziruru Kingdom and assumed the throne at the age of 18.
His mother was the late Christine Biira Mukirane, the queen’s mother. And when he made 30 years of age, Mumbere signed an agreement with the government of Uganda. The government sent him to the United States of America (USA) for further studies.
He enrolled in a business school in the US in 1984 at the age of 30; however, his government recompense was discontinued and he decided to obtain political asylum in the US, in 1987.
For him to be able to earn a living, Mumbere received training as a nurse’s aide and began working in a nursing home in Maryland, Washington DC Neighborhood.
Later, Mumbere relocated to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from where he worked as a nurse’s aide as well.
In the 25 years Mumbere lived and worked in the US, he never disclosed his royal title. However, in 2009, Mumbere in an interview session with The Patriot-News, a primary newspaper of Harrisburg, mentioned his kingship title, adding that he was considering returning to Uganda to serve his kingdom.
This was after the Uganda government recognized the Rwenziruru Kingdom and designated Mumbere as the Omusinga of the Rwenziruru Kingdom in Uganda.
On October 19, 2009, Charles Wesley Mumbere was crowned the Omusinga of the Rwenziruru Kingdom after his return to Uganda in October 2009. Nevertheless, his authority is limited to social and cultural matters.
On 27 November 2016, Uganda Police and Mumbere’s guards clashed which resulted in fighting that caused the death of 100 people, including 46 of his royal guards.
He was then arrested alongside his officials in December 2016 in connection to the fighting that happened in Kasese after a military raid on his palace which left over a hundred of his subjects dead.
Charles Wesley Mumbere was charged with terrorism, treason, aggravated robbery, attempted murder, and murder of a police officer that happened earlier in March 2016. However, Mumbere denied the charges before a court hearing in Jinja, Eastern Region of Uganda before he got remanded.
He was charged alongside twelve officials including a royal guard and a native doctor. Over 100 people were arrested over the deadly security force’s raid on the king’s palace.
Additionally, the government accused the Rwenziruru kingdom of recruiting and training militants that are seeking succession from Ugandans intending to create their republic called ‘Yira’.
In January 2017, Mumbere was granted bail by Justice Eva Luswata at the International Crimes Division of the High Court. But, his movements were restricted to Kampala, Wakiso and Jinja Districts.
He was ordered to report to court once every month and cautioned against uttering statements that could result in violence among his subjects.
Mumbere was expected to visit his palace and people in 2019 ever since his arrest, to bury his mother but he later cancelled the trip.
Addressing his subjects in Jan 2021, Charles Mumbere expressed his disappointment with the delayed trial in the case. He says his case will go down into books of history as the first King in Uganda’s kingship to be tried in courts of law with a huge number of suspects, since independence.
In 2021, Rwenziruru Kingdom marked its first coronation anniversary since Charles Mumbere’s arrest in 2016. The kingdom had cancelled four previous coronation anniversary ceremonies slated for 19th October, citing harsh bail conditions slapped on their Omusinga.
The celebrations followed instructions from Mumbere to mark the 55th coronation anniversary. The main objective was to enhance peace and co-existence among the people of the Rwenzori Sub-region and to strengthen efforts toward preserving the cultural heritage through environmental conservation.
However, other activities were eliminated because they were meant to be performed by the Omusinga himself who wasn’t present at the event because of the bail restrictions that barred him from accessing Kasese and his palace.
Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere is married to Agnes Ithungu Asiimwe and together they are parents.
One of their children includes; Prince Charles Nyamutswa, the heir to the throne and Princess Vickie Michelle Kibazanga.