KASESE – Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere will not bury his mother Christine Biira Mukirania who died on Tuesday, citing state interference.
The king’s lawyer, Mr Samuel Muyizi, said the Omusinga will not travel to Kasese on Sunday for burial despite court relaxing his bail terms.
This follows a disagreement between the king and his younger brother, Mr Christopher Kibanzanga, over the choice of the burial location.
In the meantime, royal family members who are opposed to burying the queen mother in Bundibugyo are threatening to drag Kibanzanga to court.
While justifying the decision to bury Mukirania in Bundibugyo, Mr Kibanzanga said the Rwenzururu Kingdom has no Royal Cemetery.
“Under the normal and standard practice of Traditional Cultural Institutions, a matter like this should not be a subject of discussion since Kingdoms always have Royal Cemeteries where all members of the Royal Family are buried. This is standard practice across all Kingdoms. Why is the Rwenzururu Kingdom an exception? The answer to this question is both shaming and annoying. The Rwenzururu Kingdom has no Royal Cemetery,” he said in a statement.
“Isn’t this a disappointing portray of lack of organisation and planning among the top leadership of the Rwenzururu Kingdom? Did the leadership of the Rwenzururu Kingdom assume that the members of the Rwenzururu Royal family were immortal?” He added.
Mr Kibanzanga, who is also the State Minister for Agriculture, said in his individual capacity, he has been burying the members of the Royal Family at his private land in Kirembo, Kisinga in Kasese hoping that eventually, one day, the Kingdom will establish its own Royal Tomb.
“But none of this has happened. Now that we have lost a very important member of the Royal Family the Kingdom is in total confusion over where to bury her. Those who contend that my mother should be buried in Kasese have nowhere to bury her. Let them show me any piece of land which belongs to the Kingdom where my mother can be laid to rest. When I put this demand to them, they said that we should bury her at my land in Kirembo where I have always buried the other members of the family. I have not had any problem with this suggestion. But my problem arose from the senseless terms and conditions which were attached to that suggestion,” he added.
He said the Kingdom claims that once his mother is buried on the private land, then ownership shifts to the King who is the custodian of all Kingdom property as a Royal Cemetery.
“How illogical! Why should my private land cease to be mine simply because I have buried my mother there. What sort of legal interpretation is that other than pure dishonesty and greed. We are three sons of Nyamusinga, Biira Christine Mukirania, Kibanzanga Christopher, Kibanzanga William and Mumbere Charles Wesley Iremangoma. Why is it that my other two brothers are incapable of surrendering their private pieces of land to the Kingdom to act as a Royal Cemetery?
Having been convinced that the Rwenzururu Kingdom and the King himself have nowhere dignified to bury my dear mother, I have decided to take my mother’s body to my father’s land in Bundibugyo District, Kirindi. The Kirindi land in Bundibugyo is the known ancestral land of my grandfather,” he added.