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News: Nekemte mayor, other gov’t officials arrested following murder of ruling party official

The late Desalegn Bokonja, head of Nekemte city’s Prosperity Party (Left) seen with the city’s mayor Tolera Regassa (Right) days before his murder (Photo: Nekemte Communication)

Addis Abeba – Mayor of Nekemte, Tolera Regassa and several other government officials of the city have been detained in Nekemte, East Wollega zone of the Oromia region following the murder of the city’s ruling Prosperity Party (PP) office head last week.

The Mayor’s wife Ejigayehu Ambaras told the VOA that her husband was arrested on 31 March last week and hasn’t been brought to court ever since, even though 11 other government officials who were arrested with him appeared before the court on Thursday.

The mayor was arrested a day after Desalegn Bokonja, head of Nekemte city’s Prosperity Party (PP) was shot dead “at the door of his residence” in what the city’s communication office said was “an attack by unknown” assailants.

Ejigayehu who lives in a different city with her kids for safety concerns says she hasn’t been able to get in touch with her husband since he was arrested, and that she doesn’t know why he was arrested. 

However, an employee of the city administration who spoke to the VOA on conditions of anonymity said the mayor and other government officials were arrested along with their drivers and body guards on suspicion of having connection with last week’s killing of the ruling party official.

Neither Nekemte local police nor other concerned government officials at regional level were accessible for further comment on the arrest of the mayor. AS

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