Charles Mumbere

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Charles Mumbere
2nd Omusinga of Rwenzururu
Reign 19 October 2009 – present
Coronation 19 October 2009
Predecessor Isaya Mukirane
Father Isaya Mukirane

Charles Wesley Mumbere, known by his royal title Irema-Ngoma I, is the king (known locally as the Omusinga) of the African kingdom of Rwenzururu, a subnational kingdom within Uganda. Mumbere was arrested in December 2016 after the 2016 Kasese clashes and has since been in prison, awaiting trial.[1][2]


Rwenzururu was established in 1962 as the result of the secessionist Rwenzururu movement by the Bakonjo people in the mountainous region of western Uganda. The revolt was led by Mumbere's father, Isaya Mukirane, who was recognized as the region's king.[3] Mumbere inherited the title at age 13 and assumed the position of king at age 18. When he was 30, he made an agreement with the government of Uganda by which the government sent him to the United States for an education. In 1984, at age 30, he enrolled in business school, but his government stipend was cut off. He obtained political asylum in the United States in 1987, received nurse's aide training, and began working in a nursing home in suburban Maryland near Washington, D. C. He later moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he continued as a nurse's aide.[3]

He kept his royal title secret during most of his 25 years in the United States.[4] In July 2009, Mumbere mentioned his kingship in an interview with The Patriot-News, the primary newspaper of Harrisburg, and said that he was considering returning to Uganda,[3] which had recently recognized Rwenzururu and designated Mumbere as "Omusinga", or king.[5]

In October 2009, Mumbere returned to his homeland, where he was crowned on 19 October.[3] His authority is limited to social and cultural matters.[6]

Because of clashes between Mumbere's guards and Ugandan police, the Kampala government arrested Mumbere on 27 November 2016 and killed 46 of his guards.[7] The clashes resulted in 100 deaths.[8]

Mumbere was granted bail in January 2017, the case was postponed until June at the request of the prosecutor.[9]


  1. ^ "Rwenzururu King Charles Mumbere rearrested after being granted bail". NTV Uganda. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "Rwenzururu king Charles Mumbere decries delay in commencement of trial". NTV Uganda. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "A nurse's aide in US to be crowned African king". Associated Press. 2009-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Ugandan king worked in care home". BBC News. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Bakonzo contestants attack govt over Mumbere's kingship" by Ephraim Kasozi & Joseph Miti, The Monitor, 7 April 2008 (accessed 6 June 2009)
  6. ^ Maliti, Tom (19 October 2009), Former nurse's aide in US becomes Ugandan king, Associated Press, retrieved 21 October 2009 [dead link]
  7. ^ "Ugandan police seize machetes, spears after clash with king's guards". 
  8. ^ "Kasese Death Toll Hits 100 as police discovers more 25 bodies". Redpepper. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  9. ^