Makindye, Uganda | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Music promoter Abbey Misinguzi, also known as Abitex, has been cleared of all 13 counts related to negligence resulting in the tragic deaths of 11 individuals during a New Year’s Eve concert at Freedom City in Kampala.
Magistrate Iga Adiru of Makindye Court, grade one, dismissed these charges as the state failed to provide any witnesses who could implicate Abitex and his co-accused, Elvis France Juuko, in the alleged negligence.
Nevertheless, the state has been advised that it can reinstate the case should they gather substantial evidence in the future.
Abitex was granted bail back in January after spending nearly a week in detention. He had pleaded not guilty to the aforementioned charges.
Both Abitex and the event’s MC, Juuko, were jointly charged. Juuko allegedly instructed the crowd to exit Freedom City and watch fireworks, a move that the police claim resulted in the stampede leading to multiple deaths and injuries.
The prosecution’s case alleges that Abitex and Juuko, on December 31st, 2022, and January 1st, 2023, at Freedom City in Namasuba – Makindye Ssabagabo, Wakiso district, acted recklessly or negligently, endangering human life and causing the deaths of eleven people.
It is further claimed that Abitex closed off all but one small gate at the venue, making it difficult and unsafe for over 2 million people to exit easily during the incident.