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Police officers arrest bride at her wedding reception over dismissed theft case

A wedding reception turned into a nightmare when plain-clothed police officers stormed the venue and arrested the bride over a dismissed criminal case.

The wedding was underway on Saturday, August 20, at Kakiika Technical School in Mbarara City, Uganda, when the bride Ms. Christine Natuhera was picked up and taken into custody.

She was arrested on allegations that she stole money from her previous workplace.

Her manager at Centenary Bank, Mirembe Henry, had accused her of stealing from the company.

While the matter was investigated as a criminal complaint, police advised both parties to seek a civil solution at the end of July, according to a police press release.

The case was then dismissed due to lack of evidence. 

However, after opening the case again in August, the regional chief decided to charge the woman with theft and order her arrest.

Cops said the officers involved caused a “public nuisance”, and that they may have done so at her former boss Henry’s behest.

They even used Henry’s vehicle to transport her to the jail, reports said.

The groom, Mr Edson Tumukunde, said he and other guests tried to stop his bride’s arrest.

“The guests attempted to stop them. One woman grabbed my wife by the hair and pulled her out of structure,” Mr Tumukunde said Monday, August 22. 

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.

The police have now apologised in a press release.

The Rwizi police region commander, Mr Ezekiel Emitu Ebapu, accused his officers of conflict of interest 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 release added: “The arrest was disgraceful in front of the groom, family, friends, guests and in-laws.

“It turned out that what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life ended in a nightmare.”

Police spokesperson Enanga Fred added the officers’ behaviour in this case was “reprehensible and based on poor judgment”.

“They caused a public nuisance act when they barged into a wedding function, arrested the bride on a sanctioned file of theft of shs8 million and dropped her at the Police Station in Mbarara and detained her.” Fred Enanga said.

“It happened on August,20 at around 8pm during Christine Natuhwera’s wedding reception at Kakiika Technical Institute in Mbarara.”

Police later released an update on the officers involved in the arrest.

The police statement said one of the officers involved in the arrest is now in jail while three others are on the run.

Sergeant Richard Ngabirano, an investigating officer has been arrested, whereas three of his juniors including Caroline Adio, Atugonza Muganyizi and Moris Ayesiga are still on the run.

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