Hamba’s campaigner protests arrest
Posted Friday, February 15 2013 at 02:00
Intimidation. Mr Yusuf Mutembuli says the police illegally detained him on voting day in Butaleja and vows to seek legal redress.
The chief campaigner for Ms Betty Hamba, a candidate in the recently concluded Butaleja Woman MP by-election, has vowed to take the police to court if they do not give him a genuine explanation over his arrest and detention.
Mr Yusuf Mutembuli, who is also Democratic Party (DP) vice president for eastern region, was arrested at Namugongo Polling Station in Naweyo Sub-county while witnessing the counting of votes.
Addressing a press conference in Mbale Town on Wednesday, Mr Mutembuli termed his arrest as illegal and accused top politicians in the district of masterminding it.
“The police arrested me, saying that I was inciting violence. When I reached the Central Police Station and asked them to explain what case I committed, they failed,” Mr Mutembuli said.
“How do you arrest someone for inciting violence and at the end of the day, you release him without charge?” he added.
Mr Mutembuli said the heavy deployment on voting day was to intimidate voters, arrest opposition officials and at the end of the day, favour Ms Florence Andiru Nebanda, the NRM candidate.
“This election was not free and fair because the opposition was intimidated and arrested while NRM officials were seen moving around the district giving out money to voters and attacking other candidates’ supporters in the presence of police,” he said.
However, Mr Vincent Otyeng, the officer in-charge of criminal investigations, said Mr Mutembuli had no case to answer.
“Mr Yusuf Mutembuli was put under preventive arrest because he was causing commotion at Namugongo Polling Station,” Mr Otyeng said.
Ms Nebanda won the Woman MP seat with 27,338 votes, while Ms Betty Hamba scored 12,157 votes.
Police arrested more than 18 people for various offences, including inciting violence and voter bribery.