Kasese. As Rwenzururu Kingdom marks the second anniversary of the military raid on King Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace, the cultural institution has urged the government to settle the families of more than 100 people killed in the attacks.
However, government, responded yesterday that there is no need for compensation of any family because the operation was carried out to “rescue the palace and the people of Rwenzori region from the wrong elements of instability’’.
A dark cloud covered Kasese town on Sunday, November 27, 2016 when the army, commanded by the current commander of the land forces, Maj Gen Peter Elwelu, raided King Mumbere’s Buhikira palace.
In a raid that the army explained then as an aim to smoke out wrong elements that were hiding in the palace, more than 130 people said to be royal guards were arrested.
Much as today marks the second anniversary of the assault on the palace, to the cultural institution, the commemorations started yesterday because a day earlier on November 26, 2016, the army had raided the Prime Minister’s office in the heart of Kasese town, leaving at least eight royal guards dead.
Now, Mr Gad Mbayahi, the chairman of the Prime Ministerial Commission (PMC) – a body that Mumbere appointed to run the cultural institution during his incarceration in Luzira prison – told Daily Monitor on Sunday that government for the sake of peace and reconciliation in the Rwenzori region, needs to commiserate with the families of the people killed during the attacks and resettle them with at least Shs20 million each.
The Minister of Information, ICT and National Guidance, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, however, refutes the claim that the UPDF killed innocent people whose families need to be compensated or resettled.
Mr Tumwebaze said: “Government cannot tolerate any act of lawlessness and impunity. Kasese is now peaceful and all efforts to sustain the peace should be strengthened and given priority by all stakeholders.”
Early this year, the PMC and the cabinet resolved to construct an administration block in the proposed modern palace site but resource constraints has stalled the project.
Mr Mbayahi revealed that despite collection of funds, there is still need for Shs4.5m to complete the process.
The kingdom authorities have now settled in a remote side of Kasese town. They are operating in Mumbuzi cell in a room rented by Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence in conjunction with Rwenzori Information Centres Network who donated equipment.