Two people have been arrested in Mbarara over charges related to extortion of money with an aim of promoting sectarian politics around Mbarara city ahead of the 2021 general elections.
SoftPower News reported in June that Mbarara municipality mayor, Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi had been summoned by Police over allegations that he was behind a campaign to use social media to defame the Bishop of Ankole, Rt Rev Sheldon Mwesigwa.
The complaint against Kakyebezi had been raised by a one Habert Kamugisha who is reported to have intentions to run for Mayor of Mbarara municipality in 2021. He accused Kakyebezi of using sectarian messages to promote his political ambitions in Mbarara.
Kamugisha and Kakyebezi have already expressed interest to tussle it out for the Mbarara city mayoral seat in 2021.
Kakyebezi who appeared at Police denied the allegations and instead described the allegations against him was political witch-hunt.
Police has been investigating the matter since and on Friday last week, two people were arrested.
These include; Abert Nangumya, a former student of Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara known to have been among the students who carried a coffin in protest of the Age Limit Bill in 2017. He was then arrested and charged for disturbing the President’s peace but was later bailed out.
The other suspect is Mathias Atukunda, a journalist reporting for ChimpReports who crossed from Glory FM a popular gospel radio station in Mbarara. He is also the ADC for Western youth MP Mwiine Mpaka.
Reacting on security during the council meeting on Tuesday, Deputy RDC Emmy Kateera Turyabagyenyi confirmed that Nangumya and Mathias were arrested on Friday.
“I am glad to inform council that we have arrested a notorious fraudster called Nangumya Habert. This is a man who has been printing people’s emblems and promoting sectarianism”.
“He printed an emblem for a certain candidate called Kamugisha and then claimed that he was a protestant NRM candidate. He even alleged that Mayor Kakyebezi paid him some money through his phone to print more posters to be circulated in some religious institutions like mosques and churches,” Kateera explained.
The Deputy RDC says the suspect admits to have been doing such with intentions of extorting money from candidates.
“According to Police’s preliminary investigations, he has admitted that he was never sent by Kamugisha, no money has ever been sent to his phone but it is him who was actually printing those things in order to defraud money from Kamugisha,” he said.
Turyabagyenyi says the culprits will be prosecuted in courts of law.
The OC CID Mbarara, SP Bosco Mutabazi confirmed that the file was sent to the State Attorney who advised Police to charge Nangumya with giving false information.
“We sent the file to the State Attorney and directed us to charge him for giving false information to Police officers. But he is used to this and does stupid things, you can’t think he is an educated person so let him go to prison and learn a lesson,” Mutabazi explained.
He however revealed that the journalist never had any connections with Nangumya in the deal and so was bonded on Tuesday afternoon.
“We found that Mathias is not connected to Nangumya, so we bonded. However, for Nangumya, we are taking him to court tomorrow,” said Mutabazi.
Nangumya is still battling another case of disturbing the president’s peace at Mbarara high court.