STATEMENT ON NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS

We wish to inform the public that the End of Year and New Year celebrations, were spread out in more than 3000 venues across the country, that included 1618 fireworks displays, were generally successful, apart from a tragic incident that occurred at Freedom City, Namasuba, where 10 people died from a stampede. Apart from the unfortunate incident, it was peacefully celebrated in all the other parts of the country.

This New Year, we would like to start by thanking all Ugandans and visitors in the country, who supported the Joint Security Agencies, in the cardinal role of protecting and serving Ugandans. We encourage you all to remain law abiding and vigilant at the same time. Uganda remains one of the most beautiful countries to live in, despite the current economic situation, which is part of a global economic challenge. As a country, we can all achieve much in 2023, if we work together.

During the New Year operations, the Joint Security Agencies, remained vigilant throughout the two-day period. We targeted hotspot areas, increased our visibility and operational activity, across all jurisdictions. As part of our campaign, we specifically repeat offenders, and criminal gangs that targeted revellers and churchgoers, leaving venues to return to their homes.

All crimes from murder (12), Murder by mob (03), Murder by shooting with a bow and arrow (01), Attempted Murder by Shooting (02), Attempted Murder in general (02), Aggravated Robber (02), Rashard Neglect (01), Suicide by hanging (02), Theft by an SAR Riffle (01), Death by drowning (01) Arson (01) and Threatening Violence (01), were at their lowest levels. But we still made some arrests to send a clear message to offenders and habitual criminals, that we will hunt them and charge them to court, for preying on vulnerable members of our society. We commit to continue working with the public and other private partners, to fight crime and promote safety and security.

Source: Uganda Police Force

PROMOTER OF TRAGIC NEW YEAR CONCERT ARRESTED, OTHERS WANTED

The Territorial Police in KMP South and Katwe Division have arrested the promoter of a New Year concert at Freedom City Hall, that led to a stampede that has so far killed 10 concert goers. The incident happened on the 1.01.2022 at around 00.10hrs, at Freedom City in Namasuba where about 400 revellers and concert goers were celebrating the End of Year/New Year. The celebrations were progressing well, till that point where the Master of Ceremonies, recklessly made an announcement for the concert goers to move out and watch the fireworks display in the parking, and thereafter return to the concert.
The parked crowd of about 400 people became dangerous, after the rush for fireworks from the hall, through a narrow corridor, to the only exit/entry point, after the local security guards had locked all the other gates. As a result. several victims were trapped, others trampled upon through the narrow passage way which became areal bottleneck. The deceased persons include; Kibuuka Daniel, a 10 year old, male juvenile of Gangu “B”zone, Kibuuka Daniella, a 14 year old, female juvenile of Gangu “B” zone, Kizito Ibrahim, an 11 year old, male juvenile of Kyebando Erisa zone, Hakimati Nazima, a 13 year old, female juvenile of Kyebando – Erisa zone, Nakanwagi Viola, an 18 year old female adult of Watuba-Matugga, Namyalo Mary, a 30 year old hair dresser of Ndejje-Luga zone, Nakakande Hadijah, a 16 year old, female juvenile of Massajja “B” zone, Nakatumba Margret, a 29 year old, female adult of Kanyanya, Mwanje Safik and unidentified juvenile. This is a terrible tragedy and our deepest sympathies go to the families of the deceased persons. We also wish all the injured persons a speedy recovery.
The concert that was organised by a one Abby Musinguzi of Abitex was parked to capacity with performances from various artists. The premises were physically inspected by counter-terrorism officers for fireworks and the territorial police of Katwe for the concert. The organisers and their private security were in charge of the inner security, while the external security and perimeter, was manned by the police and other security personnel, due to the existing threat environment.
We have also established that the organisers put profits before the safety of revellers and concert goers, by using only one gate on the assumption, that other non-ticketed persons would take advantage and gain entry. We are also investigating circumstances under which young children between 10 – 17 years, gained entry into the venue. Usually, concerts and festivals require the concert goers to be 18 years and above, because they can legally make their own decisions. Juveniles between 13 -17 can only attend, if accompanied by an adult or responsible person.
A thorough police investigation by specialist teams from CID, Forensic, Counter Terrorism and Crime Intelligence continues to take place. Our areas of interest are the access and exit controls, the safety measures against crowd controls, disorders and stampedes, evacuation plans, paramedics and ambulances on site, number of stewards/ushers dedicated to the event and the number of people at the concert among others. All persons found culpable shall be brought to book.
We also want to use this opportunity to remind organisers and promoters of events, proprietors of venues, to always follow the police guidelines on the safe management of public and major events.

Source: Uganda Police Force

Brazil Bids Farewell to ‘King of Soccer’ Pele with 24-Hour Wake

The Brazilian coastal city of Santos, which sporting giant Pele turned into a byword for soccer brilliance during a glittering club career, started bidding goodbye to its hero on Monday with a 24-hour wake.
Mourners lined up to see Pele’s body in an open casket in the center of the field at the Vila Belmiro stadium, home of the Santos Football Club. Pele died on Thursday at 82 after battling colon cancer.
“Pele leaves millions of Santos fans across our country. He was the creator of Brazilian soccer,” said Antonio da Paz, a fan outside the stadium for the memorial that began at 10 a.m. (1300 GMT).
FIFA President Gianni Infantino was among the first to arrive for the service and said he would ask every country to name a stadium after Pele, the only man to win the World Cup three times as a player.
“Pele is eternal,” Infantino told reporters. “FIFA will certainly honor the ‘king’ as he deserves. We have asked all football associations in the world to pay a minute of silence before every game and will also ask them, 211 countries, to name a stadium after Pele. Future generations must know and remember who Pele was.”

Edson Arantes do Nascimento – Pele’s given name – was born in 1940 in the small country town of Tres Coracoes, but moved to Santos in 1956 and lived there for most of his life.
In the early hours Monday, his body arrived under fireworks in the city of about 430,000 people from Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital.
Former Brazil midfielder Ze Roberto and Pele’s son Edinho helped placing his coffin in the field, TV footage showed. Floral wreaths were sent by the likes of Neymar, Vinicius Junior and Real Madrid.
On Tuesday, a procession carrying Pele’s coffin will pass through the streets of Santos, ending at the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis cemetery, where he will be buried in a private ceremony.
Santos’ press office said some 5,000 journalists from all over the world had been accredited to cover the wake of Pele, who scored more than 1,000 goals for Santos.
Several government officials are expected to attend the memorial, including newly sworn-in Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Vice President Geraldo Alckmin, a longtime Santos supporter.
Sao Paulo state military police said in a statement they had prepared a special operation called the “King Pele Operation” to ensure public order.
“I’ll be here all day, 24 hours, from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m.,” fan Roberto Santos said. “Pele deserves it.”

Source: Voice of America

Mastermind of Banksy Removal Could Face Years in Jail, Ukraine Says

The suspected mastermind behind the removal of a Banksy mural in a Ukrainian town could face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said Monday.
The artwork, depicting a woman in a gas mask and a dressing gown holding a fire extinguisher, was taken off a wall in the town of Hostomel on December 2, according to officials.
The ministry announced on its website that the man it believes orchestrated the operation had been handed a “suspicion notice.”
The artwork by the renowned British artist had been valued at $243,900, the ministry statement said.
“The criminals tried to transport this graffiti with the help of wooden boards and polyethylene,” it said.
“Thanks to the concern of citizens, the police and other security forces managed to arrest the criminals.”
The mural was retrieved.
Banksy confirmed he had painted the mural and six others in places that were hit by heavy fighting after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

Source: Voice of America

TWO POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED FOR WITHDRAWAL FROM DUTY AND ABUSE OF AUTHORITY

The Territorial Police in KMP/North in coordination with the Professional Standards Unit, has two police officers in custody, for withdrawing from duty without permission, to execute, civil matters. The officers who included; PC Wako Michael and PC Bwire Kevin, both attached to Kawempe Police Station, left their beat, after they were hired by a one Nsubuga Richard, to go and arrest his father, Mubiru Haruna in Mpigi, over a civil matter pertaining to his father’s wealth. They were arrested on the 30.10.2022, by the OC Nakirebe Police Station, after they presented a police reference from Katwe police station 63/27/10/2023, that was connected, and detained for professional misconduct and abuse of authority.
As we start the year 2023, the public should not only expect, but also deserve to have trust and confidence in the police. When such police officers, abuse their position for selfish gains, particularly in respect of vulnerable persons, such behaviour represents a fundamental betrayal of the public and the values for which the police service stands.
The leadership of the police has strongly condemned such reprehensible behaviour, which can never be justified or condoned, since it is an act of abuse of office and corruption. Those who abuse their position have no place in the service. What is encouraging through, is that the vast majority of our officers, consistently conduct themselves in accordance with our high standards.
The UPF has a policy on corruption and standing orders which gives proper emphasis to our principle desire to prevent such behaviours from occurring. It also sets out the means by which, we will improve our collective approaches to the utilisation of proactive tactics to better gather intelligence, identity corrupt and indisciplined individuals and vigorously pursue and remove them from the service, for the benefit of the public and the police as well.
In light of the actions of the two police officers, we call upon all police officers going out on duty, to explain themselves and always reassure the public of who they are, what they are doing and why. Police officers always carry IDs and book out formally on duty, with the permission of their superiors.
This new year, we pledge to effectively implement the policy and standing orders to combat such serious forms of misconduct and exploitation abuse that erode public confidence and trust in the police.

Source: Uganda Police Force

STATEMENT ON ALLEGED TRAFFICKING OF BURUNDIAN NATIONALS

On the 29/12/2022 at around 1000c, traffic officers at Katonga Check point in Kayabwe town council Mpigi district impounded a taxi Reg No UBM 711K (Drone, grey in colour) on overloading charges as it was carrying excess passengers, 26 in number (including the driver). They included 24 Burundians – 01 female and 02 Ugandans (a driver and a conductor).
Through our investigations, we were able to establish that the 24 Burudians came from different villages and provinces in Burundi for casual work in Uganda, and that they paid 300,000 Mafaranga to Iteka service and Platinum bus which they boarded in different intervals from Burundi via Tanzania and the payment was specifically from Ngoli to Kampala.
Due to fear of being arrested by security at Mutukula boarder, they boarded off from the bus about 03 kilometers to the boarder. The bus operators connected them to a male Burundian known to them (by appearance) who led them through ‘panya’ routes to a tree plantation which is near Mutukula boarder. The same male Burundian connected them to the operators of a Ugandan taxi Reg No. UBM 711K to drive them up to Wakiso – Kampala.
The tax operators are:
• Katamba Yasin, the taxi driver and a resident of Pungwe village, Mukungwe sub-county in Masaka city.
• Ssali Haruna, a taxi conductor. He is a resident of Kabawo zone, Mutukula Town Council in Kyotera district, and operate from Mutukula-Kyotera district to Kampala.
They Burundians are currently held at Mpigi CPS to help in investigations while the taxi operators will be charged with trafficking in Persons, c/s 3(a) and 4 of the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act.
They are brought in as casual workers, some come as visitors on busy visas, others cross through Uganda to other destinations. When they come they are employed as bar attendants/waitress, dancers for Karaoke, sex workers etc
In another reported incident of an Illegal entry reported at Laguti Police Post vide SD ref 09/30/12/2022, Adokorach Magret, the chairperson LC 1 of layating village in Laguti sub county in Pader district, allegedly on 30/12/2022 at around 2155/c found Nyomuro Jackson aged 18yrs, a Burundian national of unknown place of residence yet loitering in their village. He was a stranger in the area and could not account for himself since he spoke language not understood by the locals. Out of suspicion, the reporter with the help of residents took the suspect to Laguti Police Post for further management.

We thank the officers for their timely intervention.
We urge the general public to remain vigilant and report such cases.

Source: Uganda Police Force