National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine was held in Dubai for at least 12 hours before being allowed to proceed with preparations for his charity concert to help Ugandan migrants stuck in the Middle East return home.
Bobi Wine said he had landed in Dubai at 8:30 pm but was shocked to be quizzed for about 12 hours.
When he first gave an update, Bobi Wine had been held for eight hours but interrogators were not yet done grilling him. They extended their interrogation for an extra four hours, making it 12, which is half a day of grilling!
So, why was Bobi Wine ‘arrested’ in Dubai and why was he interrogated for those many hours? And what were the investigators grilling him about for all those many hours?
Bobi Wine said the investigators wanted to know about his NUP political party (which is the main opposition group in the Ugandan Parliament) as well as it’s leaders. That security asked him to provide mobile phone numbers of the leaders of the Kamwokya-based political party.
The singer and politician also revealed that he was compelled to provide a list of his family members and their contacts.
Swearing that he had all his travel documents in order, Bobi Wine said he was shocked to see officials confiscating his mobile phone and passport.
“Landed in Dubai at 8:30pm. It’s now 5am. I’ve been held and interrogated for eight hours. They asked me about NUP, it’s leaders, their phone numbers, my family members and their contacts! I have all necessary travel documents. They’ve confiscated my passport and my phone. I am literary under arrest,” said Bobi Wine.
“In Dubai to perform at a charity concert to assist some of the Ugandan immigrant workers. Been held at the airport for almost 10 hours, being interrogated mostly about NUP! My phone and passport have now been returned. Hopefully things go as planned. I will give an update.”
In his first update, especially due to this manner of intrusive quizzing, it was not clear whether Bobi Wine would be allowed to go ahead and perform in Dubai.
But security officials would return his passport and mobile phone to him and allow him to proceed.
“After 12 hrs,( 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,” said Bobi Wine.
From Bobi Wine’s statements, it appears his detention for 12 hours was due to the nature of the concert that could highlight the suffering of Ugandans in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Middle East countries.
A few weeks ago, it emerged that a number of Ugandans were stranded in Dubai and sleeping on the streets, prompting Bobi Wine to announce a concert to help fly these Ugandans back home. (Read Story Here).
It should be remembered that authorities have now set tough conditions for Ugandans travelling there to do Kyeyo. The conditions include one having Shs5m (or 5,000 United Arab Emirates Dirham) on their account. (See Details Here).