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Freedom City: Abtex remanded till Jan 10 as police summons building owner

Abtex in court

Abtex in court

Abbey Musinguzi, the manager of Abtex Promotions and Marketing Agency has been remanded to Luzira Prisons following the death of 10 revellers at the Freedom City Mall.

Musinguzi, 52, on Tuesday, appeared before the grade one magistrate Igga Adiru of Makindye Division Magistrate's court. He was remanded until January 10.

Musinguzi faces nine counts of ‘rash and negligent’ act that led to the death of people contrary to Section 227 of the Penal Code Act. According to particulars of the offence, Musinguzi, and others still at large, on December 31, 2022, and January 1, 2023, at Freedom City in a manner so rash or negligent endangered the lives of people by closing other outlets leaving one small gate that could not be used by more than 2000 people to move out safely.

The dead include six children; Daniel Kibuuka, Ibrahim Kizito, Nakimati Nazama, Viola Nakanwagi, Mary Namyalo, Haddijja Nakakande, Kibuuka Daniella, Shafiq Mwane, and Margaret Nakatumba.

Abitex’s lawyer Erias Lukwago, said that he had hoped that his client would be granted bail. Lukwago expressed disappointment and described the proceedings against Musinguzi as ‘ironical’ arguing that the owner of Freedom City Mall, John Sebalamu, his manager, and police officers who were hired to provide security should equally be arraigned in court for acts of negligence.

Musinguzi heaped all the blame on Sebalamu saying the venue management was the one in charge of the fireworks display, access gates. Indeed police has since summoned Sebalamu, event managers, the emcee whose announcement led to the stampede, bouncers and private security guards.

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