A prompt probe into the circumstances leading to the killings at Freedom City on New Year’s Eve has been urged by Ugandan President Museveni.
Two people have already been detained to aid with investigations, the Vice President, Ms. Jessica Alupo, informed mourners when she was present at the funeral ceremony for two youngsters who died in the stampede.
“The President has directed that he wants a detailed report about the incident…and police are still hunting for others who are still at large to help in investigations. The children have gone and other dear ones but it is very important that we get to the cause of the problem so that it doesn’t happen again,” she said.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, who was standing next to the vice president, asserted that the parents of the victims did nothing wrong by taking their kids out to ring in the new year.
“It was God’s plan because it’s usual for people to go out and come back after celebrations. We are mourning as a nation for the loss of our people,” she said.
The deceased are Daniel Kibuuka, 7, a primary four student at Golden Ways Nursery and Primary School in Wakiso, and Daniella Kibuuka, 14, a senior two student at Saloma Secondary School in the Wakiso District.
The two are the offspring of Gabriel Sebukera Kibuuka and Prossy Nakasi Mulindwa, who live in Gangu B Cell, Busabala in the Masaja Division of Makindye-Sabbagabu, Wakiso.
They were laid to rest in Masonde Cell, Kakumiro Town Council, Kakumiro District, in their ancestral home.
The requiem mass’s officiant, Rev. Fr. Sunday Godfrey of St. Andrea Kahwa Catholic Church, denounced the frequent traffic fatalities that had occurred throughout the holiday season.
“Many people have perished in fatal road crashes in the last two weeks. We are here mourning our two children. No one expected this kind of grief when they set out to celebrate the New Year. Let us accept what happened and not blame each other,” Fr Sunday said.
According to a postmortem report, the duo succumbed to suffocation. Ms Alupo said police preliminary findings indicate that the stampede happened two minutes to the end of the year when the Master of Ceremonies urged revellers to go out in the parking yard to have a clear view of the fireworks display.
She added: “Everybody was running towards one narrow gate in two minutes. The police should take this as a very strong lesson so that such a thing doesn’t happen again. The investigations will also help us. If the culprits are found guilty they will be punished and the way they organise public ceremonies should be in line with public order and management act’’.
She also gave the family Sh10 million as a token of the president’s condolences. At the residence of Ms. Maria Namyalo, 30, who perished in the stampede, the Executive Director, Ms. Dorothy Kisaka, yesterday represented the President in Kampala. Ms. Kisaka expressed sympathy to the family and sent Sh5 million on Museveni’s behalf.
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