Police has been forced to produce the victim of the accident which allegedly claimed the life of People Power musician Michael Alinda aka Ziggy Wyne.
“Some people said the victim of Zigy Wyne produced was ASP Hellen Butoto. Both are here,” police said, sharing the image of ASP Butoto and an accident victim, a woman who looks like her.
“Information has been circulating on social media saying our officer Hellen Butoto was the woman involved in the accident that claimed the life of Ziggy Wyne,” noted Deputy Police Spokesperson, Polly Namaye.
Namaye said the information was damaging to Hellen and police as an institution.
“Treat them with contempt,” ASP Helen Butoto advised the public.
Mwenda attacks media
When police said Wyne was killed in an accident in Kyebando and not torture, senior journalist Andrew Mwenda was unforgiving.
“After Uganda’s chattering elites (even those in mainstream media) spent their energy claiming Ziggy Wine was kidnapped & tortured, fingers cut off & an eye plucked out, it turns out the guy was involved in an accident, was taken to hospital by bystanders and died there! Shame,” Mwenda lashed out.
Mwenda even visited Mulago to get the Ziggy Wine story, saying the deceased was admitted at 9.30pm on July 21 after being brought in by a “Good Samaritan” with head injuries, with his 4th and 5th fingers broken.
“Hospital was told he had fallen off a bike. He was an unknown patient and was given a code name Zulu Luckily, the great neural surgeon Dr. Muhumuza (whom I’ve written about before) treated him.”
His family came on 24th and identified him. He recovered and was discharged on 25th.
“However, he did not take his medicines to stop convulsions, which led him to be readmitted in 31st. The damage caused by Ziggy not taking his medicines (when he was home) led to his death.”
His family took him to Nsambya and claimed he had been assaulted. Nsambya referred him to Mulago. Again they claimed assault. Malago wrote “query” this assault claim on the readmission form Uganda’s journalism has gone to the dogs (or the dogs have taken over our media).
“So traditional and social media were writing stories of kidnap and torture when there is an entire medical record at Mulago. It took me 40 minutes to interview the doctor & see the records! Shame!” Mwenda went on.
New Vision apologises
On Saturday August 3, 2019, we published a story titled: “City Musician kidnapped, tortured, eye plucked out”, in which, among other things, it was reported that a member of the Fire Base crew, Michael Alinda, commonly known as Zigy Wine, was reportedly abducted while on his way to Kamwokya on July 21 but later found dumped at Mulago Hospital with his eyes plucked out and two fingers cut off.
We have since established from the Police that in fact Alinda aka Zigy Wine was injured in a motorcycle accident and later died as a result of injuries he sustained. We apologise to the public for the inaccurate information and take responsibility for any adverse inconvenience that our reporting may have caused.
A number of questions have been raised about whether we exercised due diligence and professionalism in reporting this story. We feel obliged to explain the circumstances that led to the story.
On Thursday morning, August 1, 2019, a person claiming to be a relative informed us that Zigy Wine, who had been missing for a week, had been found at Mulago Hospital with his eye plucked out and two fingers missing.
According to other family members, Zigy was supposed to attend a family meeting a week earlier but did not and that his phones had been off since then. We were unable to get official comment from Mulago, but a health worker at the hospital explained that indeed Zigy Wine was there in an appalling state as described by the family. Subsequently, our reporter managed to trace Zigy in hospital and took pictures.
Furthermore, the family claimed they believed Zigy had been kidnapped and that they were receiving threatening calls from anonymous callers. When we contacted the Police, the Deputy spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, promised to cross-check the violence against Zigy and the kidnap claims by the relatives.
When we later called the spokesman to follow up on the story, he did not respond. He later explained that they hadn’t registered any complaint from the family.
Once again we apologise. New Vision strives to be accurate and professional.