Sunday, 6 October 2013

8 shot in city bar scuffle

Ms Francisca Nakazzi, one of the eight victims of Sunday
 Ms Francisca Nakazzi, one of the eight victims of Sunday morning shooting lies in the casualty ward in Mulago yesterday

KAMPALA- Top Pub on William Street in the heart of Kampala is known for its loud music and mass of people on any single night. Its popularity largely derives from the sea of commercial sex workers who mingle with their clients, guzzling alcohol as they dance to music blaring from speakers.
That was the mood in the early hours of Sunday morning until gunfire erupted, sending revellers running for dear lives. When the melee finally settled, one person was dead and five others were nursing bullet wounds.
Whereas the real cause of the shooting is yet to be established, eyewitnesses told Daily Monitor that the incident was sparked by a fight between two male revellers over a commercial sex worker.
A security guard, who refused to identify himself for fear of reprisals, said one of the men drew a pistol during the quarrel and began shooting indiscriminately.
“There was a stampede as people fled for their lives. I heard some people crying for help while others scampered for safety,” he told Daily Monitor.
When calm returned, Johnson Rukundo, a bouncer at the bar, lay dead. Those critically injured were Ms Enid Nyangoma, Mr Julius Odeke, Mr Moses Ssali, Ms Saniya Ndagire, Ms Francisca Nakazzi, Mr Daniel Owori and Ms Alice Kobusingye. They are all admitted in Mulago hospital.
Ms Ndagire, who was shot in the chest, said all she heard was a loud sound before people scampered for cover.
“I remained standing at the counter for some time in shock. After a few minutes, I decided to take cover but as I did that, I felt something piercing me,” she told Daily Monitor from her hospital bed in Mulago.
It was after blood began oozing that she realised she had been shot. Like the others injured, she was taken to Mulago hospital where she is receiving treatment.
Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said the man who pulled the trigger is still on the run although he left the pistol behind.
Murder weapon licenced
“We have recovered the pistol he used and it is licensed. We just need to check in our data to find out who owns it so that he or she can help us with investigations,” Ms Nabakooba said.
Daily Monitor later learnt that the pistol was licensed to one of the security firms in Kampala. Some of the detectives following up the case indicated that it was taking them time to zero on the suspect because that particular section of town is not covered by Police Close Circuit Television cameras.
The police yesterday announced that the bar would remain shut until it institutes proper security measures and investigations into the incident are complete.
Past similar incident
Not new. In 2009, Top Pub made the headlines when a UPDF soldier, Pte Julius Mucunguzi, opened fire on revellers, killing eight people. The soldier, attached to the Presidential Guard Brigade (now Special Forces Command) opened fire after a prostitute reportedly made off with his mobile phone and money. He later shot himself.