Ugandan Opposition Leader Given Airline Ticket to Return Home

Posted May 11, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in News ~ 1,872 views


By Fred Ojambo | Kenya Airways Ltd. (KNAL) gave Uganda’s main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, a ticket to return home from neighboring Kenya, after he was prevented from travelling on the airline earlier in the day, the company said.

Kenya Airways barred Besigye from a flight at 8 a.m. local time after learning the aircraft wouldn’t be allowed to land at Uganda’s main Entebbe International Airport with him on board, the Nairobi-based airline said in an e-mailed statement today.

“The airline has now confirmed and issued Dr. Besigye and his wife tickets to depart Nairobi this evening,” it said.

Besigye led a so-called walk-to-work campaign last month to protest against surging prices for foods and gasoline. Inflation accelerated to 14.1 percent in April, from 11.1 percent in March, as food costs jumped 31 percent, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics said on April 29. The 55-year-old opposition leader received medical treatment in Nairobi for injuries he suffered during his arrest in Uganda on April 28.

“The government has no hand” in Besigye being prevented from returning home, Uganda’s Information Minister Kabakumba Matsiko said by phone today from Kampala.

The police had arranged a safe route for Besigye to travel the 37 kilometers (23 miles) from Uganda’s main airport to Kampala, Fred Opolot, the government’s spokesman, told reporters in the capital today. He also denied any government involvement in Besigye’s flight plans and said his “understanding” was that the opposition leader would arrive today.

Besigye came second in a presidential election in February after winning 26 percent of the vote. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, was re-elected with 68.4 percent. Museveni is scheduled to be inaugurated tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via Nairobi at

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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