King Mumbere opposes proposed split of Kasese

King Mumbere opposes proposed split of Kasese
Charles Wesley Mumbere at his house in Kasese on Oct. 18, 2009, hours before he was crowned king of the Bakonzo people in western Uganda.

Charles Wesley Mumbere, the King of Rwenzururu Kingdom has expressed dissatisfaction with some leaders pushing for the splitting of Kasese district.

In a meeting with his ministers at the Jinja High court on Monday, Mumbere asked the leaders to concentrate on peace building rather than pushing their personal interests.

“After all that has happened, I would bet that our leaders should concentrate on peace building rather than agitating to split the district, which will only satisfy the interests of a few living out many silent voices which cannot speak out,” Mumbere said.

He warned that the proposed administrative units may result into land conflicts which will create more disagreements among people. “These new administrative units come with challenges like scramble for land, and at a time when we are repairing broken hearts, all those things that will inflict more pain should be avoided,” Mumbere said.

Mumbere called upon his minsters to preach peace and hope to his subjects. “The situation might not be well for now but be ambassadors of peace and hope to my people and assure them that we shall smile again,” he said.

Speaking to this publication after the meeting, the kingdom’s spokesperson, Clarence Bwambale, said they are engaging political leaders to slow down the proposed splitting of the district but they don’t seem to listen.

“As a cultural institution, we have engaged political leaders including those in government against the splitting of our district. However, most of them are not listening to our call,” Bwambale states.

He noted that, “these new administrative units bring employment opportunities and service delivery nearer to the people but it would be better if we first heal the scars of our people before introducing them to this new topic of splitting the district which may sprout up more conflicts in the area because it comes with land boundaries.”

In 2010, Kasese district council passed a resolution to split the district to create Lubiriha and Rwenzori. The proposal met resistance from area members of parliament, majority of whom are in the opposition. In 2016, the FDC dominated Kasese district council revoked the earlier council resolution to split the district.

In August this year, Kasese district National Resistance Movement (NRM) party leaders reignited the calls for splitting the district. The Acting Kasese District NRM Chairperson, Fred Businge Police complained to the NRM party Secretary General, Justine Lumumba Kasule that the proposed splitting of the district is long overdue.

He was supported by Rehema Muhindo, the Kasese District NRM Women League Chairperson, who asked the president to expedite the process of splitting Kasese without any fear that the leaders there would subscribe to the opposition. She said it is high the district was split so that services are extended nearer to the people, especially women.

Last week, Wilson Mbathulhawo, the Bwesumbu Sub County LC V councilor proposed to present a motion pushing for the splitting of the district into four. In his proposal, Mbathulhawo argues that Kasese district is big with a complex geographical terrain thus making it difficult for government to effectively deliver services to the people.

Mbathulhawo, who subscribes to the opposition FDC party, says splitting the district will address the high unemployment levels in the district.

However, the former Bukonzo East MP Yokasi Bwambale Bihande and LC V Chair-person, Geoffrey Sibendire Bigogo has openly opposed the proposal and dismissed claims it is meant to create employment opportunities for their people.

URN