Kenzo, 231 other Ugandans Return Home

Musician Edrisah Musuuza alias Eddy Kenzo who has been stranded in Cote d’Ivoire is among the 232 Ugandans and legal residents who arrived in the country last night after four months of being stuck abroad.

Kenzo arrived at 3:30 a.m. aboard Uganda Airlines, with 64 others from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire. He had gone to the West African country for a concert in March, shortly before borders we closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease.

The aircraft which was initially expected to land in Entebbe at 9 p.m. delayed by over six hours because of the stopovers in each of the countries where meeting hubs had been gazetted.

Hundreds of Kenzo’s supporters had converged at the airport to receive the musician. But, according to Kenneth Otim, the principal public affairs officer at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), the supporters were advised to leave the airport Friday afternoon after they were told that the artist would arrive during curfew hours.

Otim, however, says the supporters would still not be allowed to meet and greet Kenzo because returnees are taken for institutional quarantine after screening at the airport.

Earlier on, another 167 stranded Ugandans and legal residents returned from Qatar, a week after  238 people arrived from the same location.  

The group arrived at Entebbe International Airport on Friday at 5:30 pm aboard Qatar Airways.  The two groups were received by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.      

Ambassador Alfred Naam, the spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, says the two groups bring the total number of returnees to 2,154 ever since June 22, when the country started receiving those who got stranded overseas.

Some of the people who have since returned include students, expatriates, soldiers, and senior citizens who had travelled to various countries. All of them have been subjected to a 14-day quarantine before they are allowed to travel to their various destinations.

Ambassador Naam lauded heads of missions abroad for their efforts to see stranded Ugandans return home.

Meanwhile, Naam says that the government is committed to bringing home all the 2,400 stranded Ugandans who got stuck in 66 countries across the world. The initial plan was to bring home an average of 300 people every two weeks for better management of suspects and confirmed cases.

However, an average of 800 returnees has been arriving in the country every two weeks. The flights will resume on August 9, 2020, for returnees in China, The United Arab Emirates and Southern Africa among others. Another group of returnees from in and around East Africa is also expected to travel back by air or road.

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