FINALLY, BET Award winner Music Star, Edrisa Musuuza commonly known as Eddie Kenzo has been repatriated home by Uganda Government through Ministry of Foreign Affairs after months of being stranded in Ivory Coast due to Covid-19 Outbreak!
“East or West, home is the best. Am happy to be back home. Thank you Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I can now breath.” Said Musician Eddie Kenzo as soon as he landed at Entebbe Airport. Hundreds of Kenzo supporters were blocked from accessing Entebbe Airport and were advised to wait until his 14 days of quarantine are done.
Mr. Kenneth Otim, PRO Civil Aviation Authority said, “We received a number of Eddie Kenzo supporters who thought that he will be here by 5pm. We talked to his manager that he will arrive late at night, they were able to understand that. Because of the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) we are observing at the International Airport, our security could not allow people to be here beyond curfew time.”
Kenzo had gone for a concert tour in Cote d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast before the closure of Entebbe International Airport to commercial passenger flights on 22nd March 2020 and a lot has been written about him and how he has been suffering in that country.
Uganda Airlines which flew Kenzo back and other 55 Ugandan Nationals plus legal residents who had been stranded in West African countries touched Entebbe International Airport yesterday night, thanks to Foreign Affairs minstry.
Those that returned were from Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin,Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, the Gambia, Niger, the Republic of Guinea and Cameroon.
Acording to a statement released today morning by Public Diplomacy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Earlier in April, The High Commission undertook the registration process of Ugandan Nationals who were stranded in not only Nigeria but the entire West African Region and coordinated with Uganda Airlines the National carrier for this repatriation flight.”
“It should be noted that this was Uganda Airline’s 1st maiden flight to the West Africa region. For ease of movement, four assembly points desiginated hubs were identified i.e. Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) and Doula (Cameroon) to pick up persons in their respective locations.” Statement reads.
After fulfilling standard procedures issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, the Ugandans were accompanied by H.E. Nelson Ocheger Uganda’s High Commissioner to Nigeria and seen off by staff of the High Commission.
Other categories of people including Professionals, Academics, students and businessmen/businesswomen who live and or work in a number of West African Countries were also aboard this flight.
The High Commissioner appreciated the efforts of, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uganda Airlines, Ministry of Health and all other Government Departments who made this repatriation possible and also thanked the Ugandans for their patience and endurance during this difficult period.
Amb Ocheger also thanked the Host Countries in West Africa for having treated Ugandans well during their time of stay in the respective Countries.
The group was received at Entebbe Airport by officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Uganda Airlines and Civil Aviation Authority.
AMB. ALFRED NNAM PRESS BRIEFING
Earlier, Amb. Alfred Nnam the head of public diplomacy Ministry of Foreign Affairs, flanked by Kenneth Otim the Principle Public Affairs with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Mr. Moses Kasujja, Ronald Basiimwa and Martha Okumu Ringa updated the country about the repatriation process.
He said, “The last time we addressed you, was on June 28th 2020 and since then, a number of things have taken place.”
Updating the Nation on what took place since the last addres, Amb. Nnam said the exercise of returning Ugandans who are stranded in the World continues and it is being done smoothly.
This exercise started back and this is the fifth week. Since the beginning of this exercise to evacuate Ugandans by end of yesterday Friday, a total of 2154 Ugandans and legal residents had been repatriated into the country.
There has been about 19 flights bringing home our Nationals from Southern Africa, Europe, North America (USA), Canada, from the Middle East, Asia, South America and other countries.
“Today we expect to receive two flights, Qatar Airways carrying on board 167 passengers from Doha that has landed at Entebbe International Airport.” Said Ambassador Nnam.
He thanked The Ugandan Ambassadors and members of staff abroad, they have done tremendous work in registering and mobilizing these Ugandans and also thank Ugandans because this lockdown was not easy in Uganda but for them was even worse.
He also thanked the Airlines that have been helping Ministry of Foreign Affairs because most of the Airports are not yet open but these Airlines agreed to evacuate Ugandans.
He said, “We want to thank the Civil Aviation Authority, Entebbe International Airport staff, Ministry of Health, Uganda Airlines and Uganda Government for the wonderful work done and our President has been at the centre of this whole process.”
“Our President, Yoweri Museveni deserves a vote of thanks for his proper, devoted, visionary leadership. It has been difficult for us to go through this exercise.” Said Amb. Nnam adding that, “We are much better of than where we started. The government is fully committed to the repartriation of all Ugandans who are stranded and this is being done in a phased, secure and orderly manner.”
Mr. Otim said last week many flights landed at the same time and brought congestion but after that, Civil Aviation Authority learnt a lesson and had an engagement with partners, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health.
“This was done to ensure that we slot the Airlines, we make the use of the week so that we don’t congest a day to repatriate Ugandans.” Said CAA PRO adding that, “We slotted and will be receiving those fights on particular days which enables us to fully facilitate them.”
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