The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has asked government to explain within two weeks why the International Crimes Division of the High Court has not tried Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere and more than 200 of his royal guards, nearly four years after their arrest.
“The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs is required to come and brief this House on when the king and his royal guards will be tried,” Ms Kadaga said yesterday.
This followed a complaint raised by Mr Godfrey Atkins Katusabe, MP for Bukonzo West, demanding that if the government cannot try the Omusinga and his co-accused, it should be compelled to release them unconditionally.
Mr Katusabe described their detention as unconstitutional, adding that government owes an explanation to families of the seven suspects who have so far died without being tried.
“Some of the royal guards in Kirinya Prison in Jinja are critically ill but they have not been given serious attention. Recently, I broke down when I visited prison to see one of them who is my constituent because his condition needs urgent surgery,” he said.
“I pray that this House directs the government to undertake a quick trial so that our people are able to know their fate. If government is not ready, we demand that it causes their unconditional release,” the MP added.
Mr William Nzoghu (Busongora North) said the suspects’ families fear for their own due to Covid-19.
“What will the government tell the relatives of those people if they die of Covid-19 since most of them are already ill? What is it that the government has against the people of Kasese who they are failing to try even after claiming in 2016 that they had overwhelming evidence?” Mr Nzoghu asked.
The Omusinga is facing charges of treason, terrorism, murder, being found in possession of illegal firearms among other charges.