Uganda New Year’s event organiser arrested after deadly stampede

The incident at Kampala’s Freedom City shopping centre killed 10 people, including children.

Uganda stampede
Four minors were among the dead [Screengrab/Reuters]

The death toll in a stampede at a shopping centre during New Year’s celebrations in Uganda’s capital has risen to 10, according to the vice president, while police said they have arrested the organiser of the event.

Vice President Jessica Alupo, who on Monday visited the scene in Kampala, told journalists that one more person died on Sunday night. She said the government would pay $1,350 to each victim’s family to help with burial costs.

The partygoers were killed at Freedom City mall as revellers thronged a single exit to watch a midnight fireworks show.

Four minors, aged 10 to 17, were among the dead.

Police said the organiser did not follow a guideline that requires children to be accompanied at such gatherings by an adult.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said organiser Abbey Musinguzi faces murder charges as “holding charges” before being taken to court.

“We have so far arrested the promoter of that New Year concert,” police official Fred Enanga told reporters on Monday. “We are also actively searching for other organisers and promoters.”

He said the promoters had ordered four other exits to be shut and investigators were looking at whether “negligence” was to blame for the deaths.

“The revellers had one point of entry and exit,” Enanga said. “Therefore, several victims were trapped and trampled upon through the narrow passage, which became a bottleneck for many, mostly juveniles.”

Source: News Agencies