After Sending Music Promoter Abtex To Luzira Prison, Police Summons More People Over Freedom City Mall Stampede

After Sending Music Promoter Abtex To Luzira Prison, Police Summons More People Over Freedom City Mall Stampede

By Uganda Online Media

Following the arrest and remand of music promoter Abby Musinguzi aka Abtex to Luzira Prison, Police have summoned more people connected to the new year stampede at Freedom City Mall that left 10 dead and eight others injured.

Following the tragedy, Abtex was arrested on Monday and arraigned before the court over negligence that led to the death of 10 people.

Now Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, has revealed that their team is hunting for more information into the deadly incident and investigators have summoned more people including the proprietor of the building and city businessman, John Ssebalamu to record statements in regards the incident on new year’s day.

“We have now summoned for questioning; the proprietor of the venue(John Ssebalamu), the managers, other organizers of the event, the masters of ceremony, ushers, bouncers and private security guards who were dedicated to the event,” Enanga said in a statement.

“Also summoned are police officers and other security personnel who were deployed to secure the event. At a later stage, we shall listen to the parents of some of the children to establish how they separated from them and got trapped in the passageway and gates.” Enanga added.

According to the police spokesperson, the force is soon releasing a list of comprehensive guidelines on various aspects of planning and managing events to be followed in order to avoid a repeat of such tragic incidents.

According to Enanga, the stampede came when the MC of the event made an announcement for the revellers to move out to watch a fireworks display and return in one exit.

“Security had locked four other exits and entries and the revellers had to use one point of entry and exit. Therefore, several victims were trapped and tramped upon through the narrow passage which became a bottleneck for many, mostly juveniles,” Enanga said.

While police at Katwe insisted they had inspected the venue and had passed all the tests including multiple entries and exit points with the presence of Counter Terrorism Police officers who were in charge of the fireworks display, Enanga revealed that later, when the event started, police was tasked with manning the outer security which included screening those who were entering whereas the organizer was in charge of the inner security.

Police say, the inside security perimeter is where the money for entry was being collected and to ensure no gate-crashers, the organisers closed four other entry and exit points and only left one.

“The organisers tend to put profits before the safety of revellers and in this incident did the same to avoid gate crashers. There are over 500 attendees, why should someone block all the other entries and exits and use only one place,” Enanga said.

He said investigations by the Criminal Investigations Directorate, Crime Intelligence, Counter Terrorism and Forensics into the incident are still ongoing to ascertain whether there were enough stewards to help in crowd control but also paramedics to help in case of any incident as it happened.

Enanga further revealed that they are also investigating why children 18 were allowed to attend the concert without any adult adding that the investigation will therefore seek to find out who was behind the closure of the four other points of entry and exit and why revellers would be asked to move out to watch a fireworks display when only one exit or entry was opened yet they were many in number.

Investigators will also seek to find out whether there was coordination between the police officers at the concert and the event organisers on what to be done in regard to guidelines for such public events.

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