KAMPALA – The total number of Ugandans that the National Unity Platform (NUP) party has returned from the United Arab Emirates under its campaign has risen to 42 after receiving another batch yesterday.
Welcoming 12 repatriated Ugandans at NUP headquarters in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb, the party spokesperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, asked the government to avoid politicising the campaign, saying Ugandans in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should enjoy equal rights and opportunities just like any other citizen.
“We should not just look on as Ugandans are suffering from the UAE, this is everyone’s responsibility and instead of criticising the campaign, we can come together to ensure that our brothers and sisters are returned home,” Mr Ssenyonyi said.
“It is absurd that the government is looking at the campaign from a political angle. That is why the girls that arrived on Tuesday were kidnapped at the airport and interrogated about their relationship with NUP and its leaders,” he added.
On Tuesday, the party president, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, tweeted that 10 of the 15 girls who returned were kidnapped by unidentified authorities and kept in custody for more than seven hours.
“As part of our efforts to repatriate Ugandans stuck in detention abroad, 15 Ugandans landed at Entebbe today at 10:30 am. They were singled out by operatives who are still holding them seven hours later. The whole intention is of course to frustrate this effort,” Bobi Wine tweeted.
According to the NUP secretary general, Mr Lewis Lubongoya, the campaign will also be extended to all Africans as a sign of Pan-Africanism.
Some of the repatriated girls told Daily Monitor that they were questioned about their relationship with NUP and its leadership.
“We arrived at the airport yesterday (Tuesday) and we were kidnapped by operatives who asked us to explain our relationship with NUP, they confiscated our phones and told us to reveal the contacts we have with Bobi Wine,” one of the girls said.
“We were later taken in a drone to the taxi park and we were ordered to board our respective homes on condition that we should never go to NUP headquarters or to Mr Kyagulanyi’s home in Magere,” she added.