This is the police story; local musician Michael Arinda aka Ziggy Wine, 28, died in a road accident on Sunday night.
He was not murdered as family and some politicians had alleged, Police spokesman Fred Enanga told journalists today evening at Kampala Central police station. This version coming days after Ziggy’s death has already received sharp fire from family members and the People Power Movement led by Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi.
They insist Ziggy was kidnapped, tortured and died from his wounds. But police insist Ziggy was killed along the Northern By-pass in Kampala. Enanga said according to Roy Ataro, an eyewitness, Ziggy, riding a Honda motorcycle registration number UDC 433, rammed into her on July 21, 2019.
Ataro, a nursery teacher, said she was returning from school that fateful night. Ziggy and her, she said, were severely injured and the musician died on August 4. Enanga said Ziggy and Ataro were both rushed to a nearby Hope Medical Centre in Kyebando but relatives of Ataro quickly transferred her to another medical facility.
On arrival, Simon Kule Ahebwa, an enrolled nurse at the facility, who police paraded as an eyewitness at the press conference, said Ziggy was referred to Mulago for specialised treatment.
“After giving them first aid and I realised that he was not improving, I asked my fellow nurse at the clinic to get a boda boda and rush him to Mulago hospital,” Ahebwa said.
He said by the time Ziggy arrived at the health centre, he had lost one finger and another was on the verge of falling off. He was bleeding profusely through the nose and mouth, he said. Ahebwa said he checked on Ziggy the following day at Mulago but found he was still unattended to. Doctors wanted money to do scans but Ziggy’s family hadn’t been traced by then.
“I could not pay for him so I went back to the police where we had reported the case to see if they had discovered any of the relatives but they hadn’t,” he added.
Sarah Kobusingye, a resident of Kyebando who says she witnessed the accident as the rider struggled to avoid knocking the pedestrian. She says the motorcycle rider who happened to be the deceased musician was the first to be rushed to the clinic for treatment and was reportedly bleeding from injuries on his head and face.
Kobusingye says she took part in transferring the injured to the hospital and wanted to report to Firebase because the accident victim had dreadlocks but feared that members of the crew would attack them.
Another cyclist Meddy Wekesa, says he was at the stage along the Northern Bypass when he heard a bang signalling an occurrence of the accident. They rushed to find a man and a woman lying unconscious.
Another 'witness', Amos Turyamureeba says he transported Alinda to Mulago hospital on the request of health workers at Hope Clinic in Kyebando and that he delivered him to Mulago hospital at about 8:30 p.m.
In Mulago, Alinda was reportedly admitted with chopped fingers, his eye had been plucked out and had visible burns all over his body. Enanga says that according to testimonies, Ziggy Wayne was rushed for treatment at Hope Clinic in Kyebando after the accident, bruised, injured and burnt by the exhaust pipe of his sports bike motorcycle registration number UDC 434W which was found to have landed on him inside the ditch.
Enanga says it was wrong for the relatives to conceal the true picture and the circumstances surrounding the injuries of the late music artiste. He adds that the matter is being investigated by Kira Road police, where officers are now working to corroborate the new version of events with evidence on circumstances surrounding his death.
Enanga accused the victim’s family of concealing information from police thus allowing political opportunists to exploit his death.
“We also warn people with political ambitions to find better ways of soliciting votes instead of jumping on unfortunate incidents for their political gain,” Enanga warned.
Police paraded seven witnesses today including the nurse from Hope clinic, a boda boda cyclist who attested to Ziggy’s involvement in an accident. By the time of his death, Ziggy, a member of Firebase Records, had switched to politics. He was a political activist firmly allied to the People Power Movement.
Tony Hauls Bikumbi, a music producer at Fire Records, told The Observer that Ziggy had not recorded any song in the last 10 years.
“I had not recorded a song for the fallen musician in more than ten years. However, he has been our member and would usually come to our shows and perform his old songs,” he said.
“At the time of his death, he was well known as an ardent supporter of People Power and Bobi Wine because his motorbike was always branded with People Power colours. Probably this could have been the reason for his kidnap and torture,” Bikumbi added.
Interviewed for a comment, People Power spokesman Joel Ssenyonyi said Ziggy could have been targeted due to his allegiance to the People Power Movement.
“Ziggy did not hold any post but has been a hardworking coordinator of People Power especially through his social media platforms. We suspect the state is behind his death because they have always targeted, arrested and tortured our supporters and coordinators and some have been killed,” he said.
In a statement posted on his facebook page, the People Power leader Robert Kyagulanyi also criticised the torture and murder of Ziggy Wine.
“We have received reports of people being arrested and detained for putting on either red berets or T-shirts branded with our symbols and slogans. Our calls for perpetuators to be brought to book have not yielded much. Further we have filed several court cases about the violations and one including the murder of my driver but there has not been much yield,” he added.
FAMILY BLAMES MULAGO FOR HIS DEATH
Some relatives of the deceased have faulted Mulago hospital for not doing enough to save their relative on Sunday night. Immaculate Chocho, the late singer’s elder sister, said her brother was not given enough care.
She said Ziggy spent many nights unattended to. She said Ziggy was kidnapped and tortured by unknown people.
“After searching for almost a week, we found him admitted in the casualty ward at Mulago without being treated. The doctors told us that he was fine but needed food to regain strength,” a teary Chocho said.
She said the family transferred him to another hospital which established that Ziggy had a blood clot in the head that required immediate operation. Chocho believes if immediate surgery had been done, probably his brother’s life would have been saved.
Additional reporting by URN