Former presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu better known as Bobi Wine complained over his alleged arrest and subsequent interogation at Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates.
Kyagulanyi, who doubles as the president of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party, said that he travelled to the UAE on Friday for a charity concert intended to raise awareness and help Ugandan immigrant workers.
“Landed in Dubai at 8:30pm. It’s now 5am. I have been held and interrogated for 8 hours. They asked me about NUP, its leaders, their phone numbers, my family members, and their contacts! I have all the necessary travel documents. They confiscated my passport and my phone. Am literary under arrest,” Kyagulanyi tweeted in the wee hours of Saturday.
After about an hour, he added that he had been held at the airport for almost 10 hours, being interrogated mostly about his political party before the authorities returned his phone and passport, and later released him.
“After 12 hours, (8:30pm to 9:30am) I’ve been finally allowed into Dubai. Hoping that our charity concert, which seemed to be the source of these issues, will be allowed to proceed. We are only trying to raise awareness and assist the many Ugandan and African Immigrant workers,” Kyagulanyi reported.
It is not yet clear why the UAE authorities decided to detain Kyagulanyi but the development comes on a backdrop of complaints of rampant torture and inhumane treatment by migrant workers.
However, moments later, the concert Kyagulanyi had gone to perform at was cancelled.
“Unfortunately our Charity Concert in Dubai has been cancelled! The venue owner has been instructed to cancel. The information available shows Ugandan authorities have been working tooth and nail to ensure it doesn’t happen! The first attempt was to deny me entry, and now this!” a statement by Kyagulanyi read.
The UAE Embassy in Kampala couldn’t be reached for comment since it doesn’t work on weekends.