IN TROUBLE: NUP agents in UAE face arrest for extorting, politicizing stranded Ugandan migrants

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Following several complaints from stranded Ugandans in deportation centers, the United Arab Emirates police is looking for Nakalyango also known as Naka Wa Bobi and a one Jax for allegedly extorting and taking advantage of stranded girls.

According to the UAE police, the suspects work with Sherry and Kayima Shamim Nalumansi both former workers at Dubai airport who also are on a wanted list for dealing with some Ugandan counter parts to help the migrants run away from the law once they are deported.

The UAE Government has vowed to arrest, deport and hand over NUP agents involved in extorting and politicizing the mandatory deportation policy of stranded migrants to the International Police.

According to Sources from Entebbe Airport, the decision to arrest these suspects follows discovery that a group of NUP youth both in Dubai corroborate with NUP leaders in Uganda to pick deportees from Entebbe Airport, give them incentives of Ugx. 100,000 and have them make defaming statements against the UAE and the Ugandan government.

Entebbe Airport Authorities explained that deportation is a normal and legal practice by all Nations worldwide that sees illegal migrants sent back to their homes.

On 15th October 2022, a group of 29 girls was deported from Dubai. Of those, 15 girls were picked by a group from NUP and later appeared on an online TV Mapmedia with Bobi Wine who claimed to have facilitated their deportation. The same incident happened on 18th October 2022 when over 30 people were deported and of those ,11 girls were later that evening paraded by Bobi Wine and claimed that he had also facilitated their come back.

It should be noted that the UAE government recently offered free air tickets to all illegal migrants to return home after asking them to surrender to immigration authorities or face imprisonment for illegal stay in the middle-east country.

Following this amnesty, the Ugandan Government within its diplomatic capacities engaged the immigration authorities in the UAE to see the plight of the stranded Ugandans comes to an end. Both the Ugandan and UAE authorities made arrangements to ensure that hundreds of stranded illegal migrants from Uganda be safely returned home.

According to Ambassador Henry Mayega, Uganda’s consul general in Dubai, infants, breastfeeding and pregnant mothers will be given first priority to return home.

The claim by NUP leadership in Uganda that they are the ones helping the migrants, could lead some party members including Bobi wine in trouble of being blacklisted for tempting to ruin the cordial diplomatic relationship Uganda enjoys with the UAE.

In September 2022, Uganda’s embassy in Abu-Dhabi said that effective October 2022, no Ugandan or Nigerian national will be allowed to enter the UAE without a certificate of good conduct and a floating amount of 5,000 Dirham (Shs 5.3 million) in their bank account.

According to Ronnie Mukundane, the spokesperson of the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), the move is meant to cub the increased trafficking of Ugandans into the UAE.

Bobi Wine lies exposed

Bobi Wine and NUP leadership in Uganda, got wind of the ongoing deportation exercise and decided to take advantage of the situation by politicizing the whole situation for their political gain.

It all started, on 8th October 2022, when he was arrested and detained in Dubai while making an attempt to interfere with the deportation of Ugandan migrants by claiming that he was going to hold charity concerts to facilitate their return. The UAE government banned the concerts and had Bobi Wine return home.

On return to Uganda however, Bobi Wine started peddling lies by picking deported girls from Entebbe airport and parading them before his owned media claiming that he facilitated their return.

This has however been refuted by some returnees who said that before deportation and upon arrival, NUP agents reached out to them and asked them to be interviewed. According to some returnees, some NUP representatives identified as β€˜Mark Media’ and members from Mapmedia, a Bobi Wine owned online TV, promised UGX 100,000 cash to each returnee on condition that they announced on record that their travel was aided by representatives from NUP.

According to the Uganda’s Consul in Dubai, Uganda currently has over 100,000 legal migrant workers in the UAE, most of whom are in domestic jobs like housekeeping, while others are employed as security guards, cashiers, and alike.

Mayega has revealed that the Ugandan legal migrants in Dubai do not face deportation as that applies to those that access the country using illegal means and visit visas expires after three months.

According to Entebbe Airport Authorities, an average of 30 illegal migrants from the Middle East are deported back to Uganda. On average, over 900 people are deported back to Uganda in a month. Authorities from Entebbe Airport have said that for Bobi Wine to come out and parade, 15 or 11 people is cheap politics that endangers the relationship between Uganda and UAE.

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