Five years into his reign, Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere is facing a new problem – a royal dispute over land.
The Omusinga (king) Mumbere is accused by his sisters of neglecting them yet they were part of the struggle that led to the kingdom’s break away from Tooro and the eventual recognition of the kingdom in 2009. In a recent statement seen by The Observer, Mumbere’s sisters, Asenath Kunihira and Mary Mbambu, also accuse their brother of denying them an education during and after the struggle.
They also accuse Christopher Kibanzanga, Mumbere’s brother, of sidelining them when he was the Busongora South MP. Consequently, Mbambu and Kunihira say they continue to live a life of paupers yet government supports the kingdom financially.
Kunihira, the 62-year-old chief princess (Rubugha) also accuses Kibanzanga of grabbing her 30 acres of land in Bundibugyo, on which she has grown cocoa since 1992. The land belonged to Mumbere’s father, Isaya Mukirania Kibanzanga, the leader of the struggle against “Batooro discrimination of Bakonjo and Bamba.”
Kibanzanga, Kunihira claims, has razed part of her cocoa plantation. She told The Observer that she now wanted the kingdom to pay her Shs 18m in compensation for her razed cocoa plantation.
Contrary to Kunihira’s claim, Kibanzanga told The Observer recently that the cocoa plantation of less than 15 trees had been grown on a quarter of an acre of the said land. He said the land was being developed to erect the Rwenzori community centre, a museum and cottages.
Kibanzanga accused Kunihira’s son, Gilbert Lwanzo, of squandering money got from his mother’s cocoa sales. Kibanzanga said Lwanzo, a law student at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, wanted to grab the land.
“The land belongs to our forefathers how can a girl become an heir to a father’s land when her eldest brother [the king] is there? All the children of Isaya Mukirania have user rights she was using those rights but ownership rights belong to the family,” he said.
Source : The Observer