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A Ugandan traditional leader, Charles Wesley Mumbere, was Friday evening re-arrested shortly after the High Court had granted him a non-cash bail of $27,371.

The King of the Rwenzururu kingdom in western Uganda had been in jail since November 29.

At about 6:30pm, he finally agreed to leave the premises driving in the official vehicle of his brother Christopher Kibanzanga who is a Minister of State for Agriculture.

According to Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary, one of Mumbere’s sureties, the Minister’s vehicle was stopped just as it exited the gate, the King was shoved out into a waiting police van and driven away.

“The judge in her wisdom granted the king bail and we signed the (Court) papers, then the police came and re-arrested him and drove him away,” Mr Centenary told The East African.

His six sureties included leader of opposition in Parliament Winnifred Kiiza and they were each bonded for the same amount. The other sureties included four MPs from Kasese and a former prime minister of the kingdom.

The court had ruled that his movements will be restricted to Kampala and the surrounding districts of Jinja and Wakiso. He will also not be allowed to travel out of the country.

The other conditions of his bail are that the king must accept the state’s security and should not try to interfere or threaten to send them away.

His lawyers led by Caleb Alaka argued for exceptional circumstances like his advanced age and poor health, possession of substantial sureties and that as king, he is an important public figure and thus would not jump bail.

The state in objecting to bail argued that given the king’s influential position in society, granting him bail could interfere with investigations.

King Mumbere is the leader of an estimated one million people in the Rwenzori mountain ranges in the kingdom of Kasese. He was arrested on November 29 following bloody clashes between royal guards and state security in which over 100 people were killed, including 14 security officers.

He was charged with the murder of a policeman at Bidodo police post, in March 2016.

He faces charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

Over 100 suspects who were jointly charged with the king remain in jail.

Political leaders from Kasese have petitioned the International Criminal Court accusing President Museveni of leading what they say is a crime against humanity.

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