Arua City witnessed a rage of anger and frustration as disappointed revellers expressed their outrage when the highly anticipated performance by David Lutalo, a famous Kampala-based Afro-beat artist failed to materialize. The event had been extensively advertised by the organizer, Moses Abila of O.K Electronic Center Arua Promotion.
The manager of Paradise Hall, Alex Jangeyambe, revealed that the crowd became unruly, resulting in the destruction of numerous plastic chairs, tables, bottles, and drinks. They even resorted to throwing stones at nearby structures, including damaging the windscreen of a stationary tipper lorry. Jangeyambe explained that O.K. Electronic Promotion had booked the hall two weeks in advance and fulfilled all payment obligations.
The collaboration between Abila and Paradise Hall had been ongoing from Wednesday to Saturday, with preparations in place for the much-anticipated concert. Attendees from Arua City, Zombo, Nebbi, Pakwach, and Madi Okollo had flocked to the event, attracting both high-class individuals and newcomers. According to Jangeyambe, Abila vanished in the middle of the night, disconnecting his known telephone contact after collecting gate fees from revelers who eagerly awaited the performance by David Lutalo, enjoying local artists’ entertainment while sipping their drinks.
When contacted, David Lutalo’s manager, Nasa Ziwa, denied organizing any music performances in the West Nile region and claimed they had not been approached. However, Paradise Hall’s manager asserted that Abila had been working closely with him and had even booked accommodation for the artist and his crew in Karombo Cell, Zombo Town Council. Abila had informed him that the team should rest in Zombo as they prepared for a separate show in Arua City on Sunday, May 14, 2023.
James Oringi, the Zombo Central LC I Chairperson, expressed his shock as some stones hit his building, causing damage to doors, windows, and the roof. He added that gunshots were fired by soldiers to disperse the unruly revelers, further escalating the chaotic situation. Oringi called on event organizers and club owners to always notify the police in advance so that adequate security measures can be implemented to manage such large-scale events.
Joram Mike Anyolitho, the representative of Zombo Town Council, reported that a number of law-abiding residents had been arrested and allegedly beaten by the officers, who subsequently detained them in Zombo Police Cell. The actions of the authorities have raised concerns among community members. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, with the aim of identifying those responsible for the chaos and addressing the grievances of the affected individuals.