FREEDOM CITY STAMPEDE: Why Police Arrested Abitex

Preliminary police findings reveal that more than 500 revelers were attending the concert named ‘party after party’ which was organized by Abitex promotions. But a deadly stampede followed after the Master of Ceremony reportedly asked the packed crowd to move out to witness the fireworks display at the parking yard.

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The police have already arrested music promoter, Abbey Musinguzi the famous Abtex Promotions, who was behind the ‘party after party’ event at the Freedom City Mall to help with investigations as several juveniles below the consent age of 18 were allowed into the adult concert.

By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho

The police have named victims of a stampede that left 10 people dead at the Freedom City mall, along the Kampala-Entebbe road on January 1, 2023. The deceased were part of a crowd that converged to usher in the New Year.

Preliminary police findings reveal that more than 500 revelers were attending the concert named ‘party after party’ which was organized by Abitex promotions. But a deadly stampede followed after the Master of Ceremony reportedly asked the packed crowd to move out to witness the fireworks display at the parking yard.

According to the Police, the crowd went berserk forcing their way through a narrow passage into the parking yard yet four other exit routes were locked by the organizers to keep away non-ticketed partygoers or intruders. several revellers were then trapped and trampled upon through the narrow corridor.

The deceased include Margaret Nakatumba, 29, Mary Namyalo, 14, Daniel Kibuka, 14, Hadijja Nakakande, Viola Nakanwagi, 11-year-old Ibrahim Kizito, Hadijja Nakimati, and Shafiq Mwanje. Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says that a body of a 16-year-old male juvenile who died at an unnamed private clinic where he was rushed for emergency treatment remains unidentified at the Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA mortuary.

Enanga said that specialist teams from the Criminal Intelligence Investigations Department including Forensics, Counter Terrorism, and Crime Intelligence are still investigating the tragedy to determine if the show organizers complied with the security, health, and crowd control measures. He was addressing journalists at the police headquarters in Naguru on Monday.

The police have already arrested music promoter, Abbey Musinguzi the famous Abtex Promotions, who was behind the ‘party after party’ event at the Freedom City Mall to help with investigations as several juveniles below the consent age of 18 were allowed into the adult concert.

The end-of-year 2022 celebrations were spread out in more than 3,000 venues approved by the police which included 1,618 fireworks display sites across the country. It was the first time Ugandans freely partied after two years of global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

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