There is a rift within the Rwenzururu royal family as the Queen Mother Christine Mukirania seeks to lead a breakaway faction opposed to her son, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere. In an exclusive interview with URN at her home in Kigali cell, Nyakabingo ward in Kasese Municipality, the Queen Mother says there is need for the rest of the royal family to separate from Mumbere because he has drifted away from the original agenda set by his late father Isaya Mukirania.
In an exclusive interview with URN at her home in Kigali cell, Nyakabingo ward in Kasese Municipality, the Queen Mother says there is need for the rest of the royal family to separate from Mumbere because he has drifted away from the original agenda set by his late father Isaya Mukirania.
The outspoken Christine Mukirania, in her eighties, accuses Mumbere of running the kingdom affairs with the help of witchcraft as opposed to the biblically guided cultural institution founded in 1966 by his father Isaya Mukirania.
She says that Irema-Ngoma, as Mumbere is referred to by the royal family, has decided to oppose the ways of his father by surrounding himself with witchdoctors who in the long run have misled him.
Christine Mukirania says that for a long time since succeeded his father in October 1966, Mumbere has opposed members of the royal family including his young brother, current Agriculture State Minister Christopher Kibanzanga.
She further alleges that Mumbere, who is currently restricted to staying in Kampala as per his bail terms, claims that the current kingship is for him and his immediate family, adding that those following the agenda of his late father should go their own way.
Mumbere and at least 149 of his supporters face treason, terrorism and murder among other charges connected to the November 2016 raid on his palace by the army. More than 100 people died during the raid commanded by current commander of the Land Forces, Major General Peter Elwelu.
The Queen Mother says she is now teaming up with her other sons, Kibanzanga and William Sibibuka, to demand that Mumbere allows them to revive the kingship whose divination is Godly.
Asked whether she has engaged Mumbere over the matter, the Queen Mother says that her son has continued to dine with the veterans who admitted before President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe in December 2016 saying they were behind the deadly attacks in Rwenzori region.
"Mumbere continues to trust the veterans led by Yolamu Mulima even when they are likely to be used as state witnesses during his trial because they already surrendered and confessed to the president that they coordinated the attacks against security installations and innocent people," she says
Pressed further, Christine Mukirania says she has consulted with President Yoweri Museveni about her plans to dump Mumbere and revive what her late husband fought for, adding that the head of state advised her to hold meetings with stakeholders before returning to him for further engagement.
She does not rule out directly replacing Mumbere with one of his brothers if he does not change his ways.
On Thursday, the Queen Mother flanked by Mumbere's young brother, William Sibibuka and Aprunalis Kalibogha, the former patron of the Rwenzururu Kingdom recognition council, met with elders and county leaders at her home in Kasese town.
URN has obtained information indicating that these elders promised to consult further before taking a decision on whether to side with the Queen Mother and replace Mumbere. On Friday evening, she is set to address the leaders of the Rwenzururu youth wing known as "Esyomango Sya Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu" to sell them her idea of seeking a different agenda by the royal family.
Meanwhile, the Rwenzururu kingdom under Mumbere has distanced itself from the Queen Mother, urging those invited to the meetings to attend on their own not as representatives of the recognised cultural institution.
URN has obtained a copy of the letter signed by Gad Mbayahi, the chairperson of the Prime Ministerial Committee that was recently appointed by Mumbere to run the affairs of the kingdom in his absence.
In the letter, Mbayahi says that his office and the entire cabinet are not informed of the meetings.
"Nyamukama (Queen Mother) can invite anybody she wants to meet as Queen Mother for any engagement but not in representation of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu structures," the letter says in part.
Mbayali adds that whoever wants to attend the meetings is free to do so as long as they don't represent the kingdom under the leadership of Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-Ngoma.
Sources say the cabinet was engaged in a closed-door meeting to resolve the matter. For the last three days, Christopher Kibanzanga has been responding to several social media questions about the actions of his mother who looks to be openly championing a move to replace Mumbere.
In one of the posts on Facebook, Kibanzanga says that their mother is of a higher position in the structures of Rwenzururu Kingdom and has a right to intervene in whatever matters that affect the institution.
In his argument, Kibanzanga says the Queen Mother was paramount to the survival of the institution following the death of Isaya Mukirania on September 2, 1966 and also after Mumbere relocated to the USA between 1982 and 2009.