Interpol bails out stranded Briton

By Farooq Kasule

Added 7th December 2018 11:11 AM

For about two weeks, Waller has been sleeping in a couch at the reception of Interpol headquarters.

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For about two weeks, Waller has been sleeping in a couch at the reception of Interpol headquarters.

PIC: Godfrey Waller at Interpol offices in Kololo, Kampala. (Credit: Farooq Kasule)


KAMPALA - Godfrey Waller, a British national, says he came to Uganda about a month ago with a mission of touring the Pearl of Africa.

A visibly anxious Waller, whose credit card got “damaged”, said he expected to get money before the end of his journey but in vain, prompting him to seek help at the Central Police Station.

However, the officers instead referred him to the director of Interpol and International Relations, Fred Yiga, who was unfortunately abroad attending an Interpol general assembly.

Waller then camped at the Interpol offices in Kololo, Kampala for about a week until Yiga returned to Uganda about a week ago. Waller said he came to Uganda through Tanzania.   

Yiga says for about two weeks, Waller has been sleeping in a couch at the reception of Interpol headquarters. During this period, he has shared food prepared for staff.

“On my return, I found this gentleman waiting for me. He told me that he had come to Uganda for a tour but he had run broke yet his credit card had got a problem. I advised him to go to the British High Commission to bail him out,” Yiga narrates.

However, Yiga who estimates Waller to be about 60 years old, adds that to his surprise, Waller told him that the British High Commission had failed to assist him.


“When I called the British High Commission, they admitted having seen him and advised me to send him to the mission.

"I ordered my assistant to escort him to the commission offices.  However, before I reached home after work, I was told that he had returned,” Yiga explains.

Yiga then contacted the British High Commission for the second time, and an official told him:  “We are sorry that he has returned back to your office. However, we are not permitted to house any British national here. We have given him some money to help him but he needs to start helping himself through reaching out to his family. If he does not, we shall consider organising some money to have him go back."

Waller had no criminal record in any country, Yiga adds.

“Waller told me that he wanted to go back home. I asked him whether he had any relative to bail him out but he replied in the negative.  I reached out to a number of organisations to help him until I got US $500 (about sh1.8m) from Make a Child Smile, a non-government organisation."

Yiga commended Alex Ssembatya, the Make a Child Smile director for the assistance.

Waller is set to leave Uganda on Friday night by bus through Malawi to Mozambique, where he will pick a flight to Britain.

Yiga appealed to anyone who knows Waller to inform his relatives that he is safe and would join them soon.

“In Uganda, we do not have any issue with him. I actually do not know his exact mission but the important thing for me was to have him back to his country peacefully," he said.



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