It has emerged that police in Mbarara recently blocked Ankole crown prince Charles Aryaija Rwebishengye Barigye, from attending a meeting called to discuss ways of furthering the cause for the restoration of the Obugabe (kingdom).
The meeting was held at the offices of the Nkore Cultural Trust, Booma, in Mbarara municipality. NCT is a cultural organisation that has been at the forefront of agitating for the restoration of the Obugabe, the cultural institution of Ankole.
Ellady Muyambi, the executive director of Historic Resources Conservation Initiatives (HRCI), who coordinated the meeting, said Rwebishengye was blocked from leaving his home on July 13 by the police.
“The police told us that the security situation is not conducive for the prince to attend the meeting,” Muyambi said.
Dickens Bindeba, the Mbarara district police commander, declined to comment about the incident when contacted on July 15. Nonetheless, the prince, The Observer has learnt, provided the meals for the participants.
Muyambi said the meeting was attended by about 200 youths from across Ankole and some prominent elders, who included Stephen Kamuhanda, the former head teacher of Ntare School Kesi Bunanukye, an expert on Ankole culture and Kapalaga Mahunku, a renowned Ankole elder.
Muyambi said that during the meeting, which started at 10am and ended at 5pm, tempers flared because some youths were not happy that the prince would not be with them. They resolved that government should recognize the Ankole kingdom and if it doesn’t, they will not vote for President Museveni in 2016 or any other politician in the district who is opposed to the Obugabe.
The youths also resolved to continue mobilizing people in Ankole to support the restoration of Obugabe. Rwebishengye is a student in the United Kingdom. He returned last month and he has been touring Ankole.
There are still sharp disagreements in Ankole over the restoration of the Obugabe. While some people want it restored, its opponents, notably President Museveni, have previously said that the kingdom was divisive in the past and restoring it would create further disharmony among the people of Ankole.
Source : The Observer