Police in Mbale District are holding the ruling, National Resistance Movement (NRM) party vice chairperson for youth in Bulambuli District on allegations of offensive communication against Lydia Wanyoto, the chairperson of NRM women league.
The suspect, a resident of Bunabiro village, Bulako parish in Muyembe Sub-county in Bulambuli district was arrested over the weekend from his home after several days of police reportedly hunting for him in Mbale town, in vain.
Mt Elgon Region Police Spokesperson, Mr Robert Tukei, confirmed the arrest on Monday while addressing journalists at the Mbale Central Police Station.
“He was arrested and will be charged with four counts, all related to offensive communication and cyber stalking towards the chairperson of NRM women league, Hon Lydia Wanyoto,” Mr Tukei, said.
Ms Wanyoto formerly served as Member of Parliament for East Afrcan Legislative Assembly (EALA). She is also one aspirants eyeing for woman MP, Mbale District, come 2021 general elections.
Mr Tukei said the suspect, currently detained at Mbale Central Police Station, committed the offences between August 24 and September 4, 2019.
According to Tukei, the suspect, a staunch NRM supporter, who also formerly served as coordinator of Crime Preventers for Elgon Sub-region, allegedly posted offensive messages on several WhatsApp groups accusing Ms Wanyoto, among others, of being behind the death of her husband, Dr James Mutende.
Dr Mutende, who was state minister for industry, died on October 2, 2015 at his home in Lukuli- Nanganda in Makindye in Kampala. According to the post mortem report handed to government, he died of natural causes.
“The suspect claimed that Hon Wanyoto is a murderer, who killed her husband in cold blood. He also claimed Ms Wanyoto is a goon, who ferries guns and bullets and disrupts peace within Mbale city, among other, things,” Mr Tukei said.
According to police, the WhatApp groups, where Mr Ngotowa allegedly posted the offensive messages on different dates included IUIU youth forum, Elgon voice and NRM media panelist.
Some of the messages, which were retrieved by police, which Daily Monitor has seen, read: “Lydia must abort her intentions to run against Hon Connie Nakayenze Galiwango. She killed James Mutende in cold blood. Even Umukuku Bob Mushikori is aware. She even paid him money to keep quiet.”
Mr Tukei said case has been filed and already taken to resident senior state attorney for sanctioning.
“Immediately it's sanctioned, he will be set to appear before court on charges of offensive communication and cyber stalking before closure of business on Tuesday,” he said.
The Mbale NRM chairperson, Mr Mahamood Masaba Mutenyo, told Daily Monitor, however, that as leaders, they are praying that Ms Wanyoto forgives the suspect since he is an ardent supporter of President Museveni and the NRM party.
“He did wrong and I have condemned it but he is one of our strategic and powerful supporters, although he does not support Wanyoto. He supports President Museveni and he has done tremendous work in previous elections,” he said, adding that Wanyoto is using an iron hand to settle the issue.
However, when contacted, Ms Wanyoto declined to comment stating that she was in a meeting.
“You write your story. You talk to those people in Mbale. I don’t want to be rude. Am the in a meeting. You just get off,” she said.
Mr Kassim Madagi, Mbale Municipality Youth Councilor, said all this points to the growing rift between the supporters Ms Nankayenze and Ms Wanyoto.
“The NRM leadership and president Museveni should intervene in this matter before it’s too late,” Kassim said.