By Isaac Nuwagaba and Michael Odeng
Music promoter Abbey Musinguzi popularly known as Abitex has been charged and remanded to Luzira Prison over the New Year’s Day stampede at Freedom City in Kampala, which resulted in death.
It is alleged that the incident occurred at midnight when the event’s master of ceremonies encouraged the revellers to go outside and watch the fireworks display. After the display ended, a stampede ensued, resulting in the instant deaths of people.
The concert dubbed ‘Party After Party was organised by Emma Promotions and Abitex Musinguzi at Freedom City, Namasuba, on Entebbe Road.
Musinguzi, 52, a resident of Bulindo zone, Kira Division in Wakiso district, was charged with nine counts of a rash or negligent act occasioning the death of nine people, contrary to Section 227 of the Penal Code Act before Makindye Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kampala.
According to the Penal Code Act, any person who, by any rash or negligent act not amounting to manslaughter, causes the death of another person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or to a fine not exceeding seventy thousand shillings or to both such imprisonment and fine.
“Musinguzi and others still at large on December 31, 2022, and January 1, 2023, at Freedom City Hall Namasuba in Wakiso district endangered people’s lives by closing other outlets from the venue gates leaving only one small gate which could not allow over 20,000 people to move out safely,” according to prosecution.
The music promoter is also accused of causing the death of nine people. They include Daniel Kibuuka, Daniella Kibuuka, Ibrahim Kizito, Nazama Hakimati, Viola Nakanwagi, Mary Namyalo, Hadja Nakakande, Shafik Mwane and Margret Nakatumba.
Musinguzi appeared before Makindye Court Grade One Magistrate Igga Adiru and denied the charges.
Counsel Erias Lukwago said Musinguzi was remanded until January 10, 2023, when he will re-appear in court for the hearing of his bail application.