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Kirk Franklin in African Riot

KIRK FRANKLIN, an American gospel singer and author, was yesterday caught up in the Kampala city riot on his way from the Vice-President, Gilbert Bukenya’s home in Kakiri, Wakiso district.

The riot, which started at around mid-day with civilians battling security operatives, arose from rumours that Buganda Kingdom premier Eng. John Baptist Walusimbi had been arrested on his way to Kayunga.

Franklin had just paid Bukenya a courtesy call, ahead of his show at Nakivubo Stadium today. His team from the US has about 100 people.

Witnesses said by the time Franklin got to Nansana, a city suburb, the road to Kampala had been cut off with logs and the rioters were pelting motorists with stones.
With him were an American pastor, John Petton, and several other Ugandan pastors.

The fleet was forced to seek refuge at Nansana Police Station. By press time, the group was still at the station under tight security.

At Bukenya’s home, Petton pledged to set up a structure for the hundreds of people who are under Bukenya’s care undertaking small-scale production.

Bukenya, who accompanied the visitors on a tour of his projects, urged Ugandans to embrace hard work and education to overcome poverty.

Kirk Franklin, 38, got an early start in music when his great aunt paid for his piano lessons from the age of four.

At only seven, he was offered his first music contract, which he did not take. He then joined a church choir and at 11 he became a music director of an adult choir. 

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