BUNDIBUJJO: Thousands of mournors and subjects showed up for the burial of the Nyamukama (Queen Mother) of the Rwenzururu Kingdom, Christine Biira Mukirania. The Nyamukama who died on June 11, aged 85 at Kilembe Mines Hospital, was laid to rest at her ancestral home in Kirindi, Bundibugyo district.
The Chief Prince Christopher Kibanzanga has fulfilled his intentions to have the Rwenzururu Queen Mother Christine Biira Mukirania buried in Bundibugyo— the royal family’s ancestral home despite King Charles Wesley Mumbere’s order to have the burial in Kasese, the headquarters of the kingdom.
The Queen mother was pronounced dead by doctors
on Tuesday morning at Kilembe Hospital in Kasese municipality, where she was
admitted battling cancer since early this year.
Biira is the mother of the embattled King of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere, and the state minister for agriculture, Christopher Kibanzanga.
Mumbere thus cancelled the trip to bury his mother.
The Omusinga of Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere will not bury his mother Christine Biira Mukirania despite court relaxing his bail terms to allow him travel for 14 days to mourn and fulfill cultural rites as the elder and king.
According to Omusinga’s lawyer Samuel Muyizi, Mumbere will not travel for the burial in protest of the decision to bury the Queen Mother in Bundibugyo. The decision has sharply divided the royal family with some members threatening legal action against the king’s brother Chief Prince Christopher Kibanzanga.
Mumbere through Tumusiime Yonah Maate, the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu spokesperson announced on July 13 that the Queen Mother will be laid to rest at Nyamirangara Village in Muhokya Sub County in Kasese District on Tuesday.
It was planned that the remains of the Queen Mother would be moved on Monday to Kasese District, St Paul’s Cathedral Kamaiba for the requiem mass service.
However, body was moved today to Bumadu Church of Uganda in Bundibugyo district with Kibanzanga leading the preparations.
While speaking at the requiem mass at Bumadu Church of Uganda in Bundibugyo district, Kibanzanga insisted that the burial will take place tomorrow in Kirindi, Bundibugyo. He argued that Kirindi is their ancestral home.
Mumbere secured Court permission to mourn and perform cultural rites but protested the decision of his brother who transported the body of the Queen mother from Buhinga Hospital Mortuary, Kabarole District to Bundibugyo and held the requiem mass yesterday.
Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi represented the government at the burial. Other dignitaries included Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi, David Kalubanga, the Minister of State of Public Service, Hon.Vincent Ssempijja, and the Minister of Agriculture.
Mumbere loyalists have reportedly shunned attending the burial as the Queen Mother is laid to rest in Kirindi.
“Though I was still young, I took notice of my mother’s intention of showing me our ancestral land. It has taken me four decades to return to my ancestral land officially to establish a decent home on my father’s land where my mother can be peacefully put to rest. This is the place where my mother started her life with the man who was her soul mate and comrade in struggle”, he said.
“No problem we came from Bundibujo and as such we will put my lovely mother to rest at our ancestral home”, Prince Kibanzanga said,
Kibanzanga blasted the Royal Family for failing to establish Royal Cemetery. He stated that in his individual capacity, royals have been buried on his private land in Kasese.
He disagreed with his brother and king stated that he is not flawless and argued that ‘some of my brother’s words and actions wouldn’t have landed his Kingdom into the terrible trouble which saw hundreds of lives lost and others arrested, including him’.
“Could Prince Kibanzanga be disobeying the word of his elder brother, the King? Is it true that the King is never wrong? The answers to these questions are purely subjective according to your individual world view. I don’t believe that a King’s judgment is flawless”, He said.
There has been Ebola screening of mourners at the funeral service held today at Izahura Primary School, Harugale Sub-County in Bundibugyo District. Also, security presence has been beefed up with the army and police patrolling Bundibugyo.