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Promoter Abitex Found Not Guilty in Deadly Freedom City Incident

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promoter abitex found not guilty in deadly freedom city incident
promoter abitex found not guilty in deadly freedom city incident
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In a recent development, the Chief Magistrates’ Court at Makindye has cleared music promoter Abbey Musinguzi, popularly known as Abitex, of charges related to the New Year’s Day stampede at Freedom City that resulted in the tragic death of 13 individuals.

Abitex had been facing charges of rash or negligent acts along with businessman Elvis Francis Jjuuko, who served as the master of ceremonies during the event. The incident occurred on January 1 when a stampede broke out as revelers rushed to watch fireworks at Freedom City in Kampala.

The victims of this unfortunate incident were identified as Daniel Kibuuka, Daniella Kibuuka, Ibrahim Kizito, Nazama Hakimati, Viola Nakanwagi, Mary Namyalo, Hadja Nakakand, Shafik Mwane, and Margret Nakatumba.

On Thursday, Senior Grade One Magistrate Igga Adiru dismissed the cases against Abitex and Jjuuko due to a lack of prosecution evidence. However, the magistrate noted that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) could reinstate the case if witnesses become available.

The tragedy unfolded at midnight when the event’s master of ceremonies encouraged attendees to exit the venue and view the fireworks display. Following the conclusion of the display, a stampede occurred, resulting in multiple fatalities.

The concert, known as ‘party after party,’ was organized by Emma Promotions and Musinguzi at Freedom City, Namasuba, on Entebbe Road.

The prosecution had alleged that Musinguzi and others, who are still at large, endangered lives on December 31, 2022, and January 1, 2023, at Freedom City Hall Namasuba in Wakiso district by closing off multiple exits and leaving only one small gate open, which was insufficient for the safe evacuation of over 20,000 attendees.