Charles Wesley Mumbere, the traditional king of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu in Uganda’s western district of Kasese was on Tuesday brought before a magistrate court in Jinja where murder charges were read to him.
He is accused of killing a police officer seven months ago along with others.
“Charles Wesley Mumbere and others still at large on the 24th March, 2016 at FFU (Field Force Unit) detach at Kidodo cell in Central Division of Kasese Municipality murdered No. 53221 PC Kasimba Godfrey,” the brief charge sheet read.
The king was, however, not required to take a plea as the offence, being a capital crime, is only triable in the High Court.
Magistrate Francis Kaggwa remanded him to Luzira prison in Kampala until December 13 when the case comes up for mention.
King Mumbere was arrested on Sunday after the Ugandan army and police raided his palace over concerns that he was training a militia agitating for secession.
More than 80 people were killed mainly royal guards and at least 16 security officials —police and army.
Earlier, the Minister for Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odong, in a statement that was also presented before Parliament, said the clashes in the restive Rwenzori region date back to the colonial era.
Critics have long held views that the Kampala government has sidelined Kasese and could have led to calls for the region’s secession to create Yiira republic that would include parts of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. (SEE VIDEO: Silent voices of war: The untold stories of victims of violence in the Rwenzori region)
“The ongoing situation is an offshoot of a long history and not the creation of the NRM government,” Gen Odong said adding that the “Government has been clear that this dream (secession and creation of the Bakonzo state of Yiira) is an impossibility in the present times.”