Rwenzururu king Charles Wesley Mumbere has been granted bail. Mumbere was released this afternoon by Jinja High court judge Eva Luswata.
The king was arrested on November 27, 2016 following UPDF-led operations in Rwenzori region that culminated into the attack on his palace.
He applied for bail pointing out that he had a constitutional right to bail. He added that he has substantial sureties who were willing to stand for him and that he has fixed places of abode in Makindye, Kampala and Muyenga Cell, Nyakabingo II in Kasese district.
Principal state attorney Ojok Alex had objected to the bail application arguing that releasing Mumbere would interfere with the progress in investigations. The state also argued that Kasese district is still volatile and that such a move would trigger more attacks from Rwenzururu loyalists.
But justice Luswata dismissed the fears saying that the state is duty bound to protect its citizens from acts of aggression. She also allayed fears that bailing Mumbere could intensify the volatility of the Rwenzori region adding that his sureties are prominent Ugandans and are enlightened enough to understand their obligation.
Prosecution also told court that the sureties presented by the applicant are not substantial. Ojok submitted that the sureties, being his subjects, couldn’t be relied upon to compel Mumbere to return to court.
The judge however said Mumbere does not have any history of jumping bail and had presented a list of prominent Ugandans as his sureties. These include MPs Winnie Kiiza, William Nzoghu, Harold Muhindo, Robert Centenary and former Rwenzururu prime minister Constantine Bwambale.
Mumbere was ordered to sign a non-cash bond of Shs 100 million. His sureties will also sign a non-cash bond of Shs 100 million each. His movement is also restricted to the districts of Kampala, Wakiso and Jinja during the period of his trial.
He is also expected to appear in Jinja High court once every month starting February 17. He, together with over 150 royal guards, were subsequently charged, with terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery and attempted murder.