The government has promised to offer financial support to widows and wives of former Rwenzururu royal guards, nearly six years after bloody clashes with the Kasese based kingdom.
According to Hellen Petronilla Masaka, the deputy executive director of the Uganda Microfinance Support Centre (MSC), the former Rwenzururu royal guards’ widows and wives will be given seed capital to start income-generating activities as the government also rolls out a special support package to all former and freed royal guards.
The commitment followed appeals made by the Busongora North MP, Sowedi Kitanywa and the Kasese Resident District Commissioner(RDC) Lt. Joe Walusimbi who, say that the former royal guards and their wives are struggling to rebuild their lives.
At least 203 Rwenzururu royal guards were arrested in November 2016 after Ugandan security forces raided the Rwenzururu king, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace in Kasese following clashes that led to the death of more than 100 people including some 16 policemen.
Together with their king, the guards were moved to the eastern Uganda city of Jinja where they remained in detention till November 2020 when about 132 were granted bail and ferried back to Kasese. Mumbere’s movements on the other hand were restricted to Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso districts.
Addressing beneficiaries of Emyooga Sacco in Kasese Municipality and Busongora South in Kasese, Masika said that the institution will establish common user projects for the former royal guards and their wives to be able to boost their livelihoods.
She added that MSC will also provide financial literacy to the groups to enable them to get knowledge on access to affordable credit.
Maskika also noted that MSC will support the remaining royal guards once they are released from prison.
The State Minister of Micro Finance, Haruna Kasole Kyeyune directed the MSC to begin mobilising the former royal guards immediately to ensure they are supported.
He noted that a number of young people were lured into such acts because they never had what to do.
Roset Monday, the chairperson of Kasese Municipality People Living with Disability (PWDs) Emyooga Sacco welcomed the proposed support.