Police Officers charged for arresting bride during wedding over dismissed theft case
A wedding reception at Kakiika Technical School in Mbarara City at the weekend turned theatrical after plain-clothed police officers stormed the venue and arrested the bride over a dismissed criminal case.
Ms Christine Natuhera was arrested on allegations that she stole money from her previous work place.
However, our reporters have established that the case had earlier been dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Mr Edson Tumukunde, the bridegroom, said the drama unfolded when the officers grabbed his wife. “The guests attempted to stop them. One woman grabbed my wife by the hair and pulled her out of structure,” Mr Tumukunde said yesterday.
One of the guests grabbed Ms Natuhera from the officers and took her into a car to escape, but police swiftly followed in hot pursuit.
The officers later intercepted them and drove the bride to a police station.“She spent the night in the cell. Our guests waited at the reception up to 1am on Sunday as we struggled to secure her release,” Mr Tumukunde said.
Earlier, attempts by the bridegroom and relatives to trace the bride’s whereabouts and also secure her release failed until they reached out to reporters.
The Rwizi police region commander, Mr Ezekiel Emitu Ebapu, who accused his officers of conflict of interest, confirmed the incident and apologised for the manner in which the bride was handled.
“That incident was very unfortunate. They should have waited for her to finish her function and then arrest her,” Mr Emitu said.
The officers claimed that they were investigating the theft case.
Mr Emitu said even if the suspect was accused of theft, which was not a capital offence, the police should have summoned her to respond to the accusations rather than traumatising her.
“I will discipline the officers who carried out the arrest. That was very unprofessional because she was not hiding. This is a case that has been under investigation. She should have been allowed to finish her function. They should have waited for a Monday,” he said.
“The intelligence officer who sanctioned the arrest shows that there were personal interests,” Mr Emitu added.The police commander said he had instructed Ms Natuhera’s release on bond.
“I apologise to the family for what we caused. I have instructed them to give her a bond immediately. What happened to her can affect her psychologically throughout her life. This is shocking and it should not have happened,” Mr Emitu said.
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