Uganda arrests party MC over deadly New Year's Eve crush

AFP , Monday 9 Jan 2023

Ugandan police said Monday they have arrested a key suspect who went on the run after a deadly stampede at a New Year's Eve party in the capital Kampala.

New Year s Eve crush
Fireworks light up the sky as people react while they celebrate after counting down to the new year at Miracle Center Cathedral in Kampala, Uganda, on January 1, 2023.


Ten people, mainly children, were killed in a crush at the Freedom City mall as revellers pushed through a single exit to watch a midnight fireworks show.

Kampala metropolitan police spokesman Patrick Onyango told AFP that the party's MC, Elvis Francis Juuko, was arrested on Friday in his hideout in Mityana, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) west of Kampala.

"Juuko has been brought back to Kampala and is in police custody. He has been charged with rash and negligent acts," Onyango said.

He did not indicate when the suspect is likely to appear before a court.

Police accuse the MC of urging partygoers to go through a narrow passage from the concert hall to watch the fireworks, triggering the stampede.

Concert organisers had closed other exits to prevent revellers who had not paid from gaining access to the overcrowded venue inside the shopping mall.

The event's promoter, Abby Musinguzi, was last week charged with negligence causing death and remanded in custody.

Musinguzi, better known by his club name Abitex, is expected to appear in court on Tuesday for a bail hearing.

President Yoweri Museveni has ordered a speedy investigation into the crush and offered the families of the deceased five million Ugandan shillings ($1,340) to assist with funeral expenses.

Most of the victims were aged between 10 and 20, police said.

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