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21 people died by assault, drowning on new year’s night- Police

Youth attending New Year’s night praise and worship session at Nsambya

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | At least 21 people died by as a result of assault, shooting and drowning on New Year’s night, police has revealed.

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said although New Year’s celebrations were countrywide generally peaceful, some people were assaulted to death or lynched by the mob while others drowned as they were crossing on water bodies or swimming.

Enanga said four people died after being assaulted in the districts of Sheema, Otuke, Fort Portal City in Kabalore and Kyangwari Subcounty in Hoima. Police recorded four cases of drowning. Two drowned in Kayabwe and Buwama townships in Mpigi District while two others drowned in Lake Albert in Kyangwari, Hoima district.

Police attribute the largely peaceful New Year’s Day celebrations to heightened security operations purposely in urban areas. In Kampala, police and sister security agencies arrested over 200 people violating curfew hours and drinking in bars which were closed by President Yoweri Museveni in March last year in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid19.

All people who were arrested for defying 9pm curfew time were released that night and only 105 were taken into custody. However, even of the 105 who had been detained, majority have since been released on police bond.

It is reported that security operations in Kampala were coordinated by Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga, whom President Museveni has appointed as overall joint security operations coordinator. Maj Gen Muhanga’s appointment was confirmed to Uganda Radio Network –URN on Friday afternoon by deputy UPDF Spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki.

Enanga further explains that deaths recorded on New Year’s Day include three people who were shot dead in Napak and Kiryandongo districts. “Two people were shot dead in Napak and one in Kiryandongo. We also registered mob action at Mubarak Zone in Makindye Division [Kampala] and Butaleja district,” Enanga said.

One person was killed by a teargas canister in Mbale, one committed suicide in Agago and another was hacked to death in Buwenge, Busoga sub-region.

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