Police used pepper spray to disperse a group of angry residents who tried to resist the arrest of Zandia Mutwalib, the mayor Mbale municipality on Saturday morning. Mutwalib is accused of embezzling more than one billion shillings meant for the rehabilitation of Mbale Municipality
Police used pepper spray to disperse a group of angry residents who tried to resist the arrest of Zandia Mutwalib, the mayor Mbale municipality on Saturday morning.
Mutwalib was addressing a group of Bodaboda motorcyclists near Mbale town clock tower at around 11:00am when police arrested him.
He tried to resist the arrest with the help of motorcyclists he was addressing forcing police to use pepper spray on him and his supporters. He was bundled onto the waiting police pick-up truck and whisked away to Mbale Central Police station.
Angry residents who were protesting the manner in which the mayor was arrested retreated but later converged at the Central Police Station where they found the area besieged by the heavily deployed police.
They kept shouting and hurling insults at the police from a distance as they could not access the Police Station premises.
Mutwalib is accused of embezzling more than one billion shillings of local revenue meant for the rehabilitation of Mbale Municipality.
Diana Nandawula, the Elgon Regional Police Spokesperson said police are investigating the alleged embezzlement of the Municipal funds. She said the Mayor, the town clerk Joseph Kimbowa and several other councilors and technocrats are wanted for questioning over the alleged crime which she said was committed last year.
Nandawula said many of the technocrats and councilors including the town clerk have already recorded their statements while the mayor had snubbed their several summonses to have him record statement. She said he also refused to record a statement when detectives followed him to his office.
Nandawula said the police are investigating allegations that the mayor would connive with some contractors in the municipality leading to the loss of more than one billion shillings. She said they would question him and later release him on bond.
The mayor has however blamed his arrest on political witch-hunt. He also accused the police of manhandling him.
Jack Wamanga Wamai, the Mbale Municipality Member of Parliament accused police of harassment and using excessive force to arrest the Mayor.
He says whatever the Mayor had done, it does not warrant police to use force to embarrass and arrest him.
At the time of filling this report, the Mayor was still at Mbale Central Police Station.