Uganda: Two accused over deadly stampede granted bail

**In Uganda, the promoter of a deadly New Year’s Eve event and the concert MC appeared in court Tuesday (Jan. 10).

They were granted bail after the hearing by the Makindye Magistrates Court.

Promoter Abby Musinguzi and MC Elvis Francis Juuko remain charged with crimes including counts of neglects.

Speaking outside the Kampala courtoom, the defense lawyer gave more details.

“They were arraigned on 13 counts of causing death or injuries to several people on account of being negligent and indulging in what they called ‘rash act’. So, basically those are the charges. So, each victim constituted a count that’s why they are many,” Elias Lukwago said.

Ten people, mainly children, lost their lives in the crush at the Freedom City mall in the capital as revellers pushed through a single exit to watch a midnight firework show.

So far, three people are detained over the tragic incident. Elias Lukwago called for an impartial application of the law.

“They will not get justice with the selective application of the law we are witnessing here. They will not get justice with the police coming up with trumped up charges against the weak. The weak, that is Abitex and his co-accused. And will not get justice as long as the owner of the premises is being shielded away from the long arm of the law together with the manager and all the police officers who were on duty. So, basically that is our call, that is our demand.”

The Deputy Police spokesman said that more suspects including the mall owner proprietor had been summoned to appear before the investigating team and would be arrested if they failed to comply.

 Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni offered the families of the deceased five million Ugandan shillings ($1,340) to assist with funeral expenses.