COVID19: Stranded Ugandans return home from South Africa

By Tracy Gwambe

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About 70 Ugandans return today from southern Africa, including many students and senior government officials.

The Uganda High Commission in Pretoria South Africa successfully saw off a total of 62 Ugandan Nationals and legal residents who have been stranded in the Southern Africa region (South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, and Zimbabwe) following the closure of Entebbe international airport to passenger flights on March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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The High Commission undertook the registration process of Ugandan nationals who were stranded in the Southern Africa region and coordinated their return aboard Uganda Airlines. 

Among some of the Ugandans returning from the Southern Africa region are notable personalities including Uganda's former Chief Justice, His Worship Benjamin Odoki currently working in the Kingdom of Eswatini since his retirement in Uganda, Tineyi Emmanuel Mawocha the Chief Executive Officer for Opportunity Bank Uganda, Eitu Samuel, Assistant Commissioner Ministry of Public Service Uganda Onapito Ekolomoit former Head of the Presidential Press Unit, State House Kampala, James Kalyango and wife Judith of Lungujja, Kampala, who were in South Africa for medical reasons,  and Onapito Ekalomoit, who was visiting Botswana, among others.


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Other categories of returnees include students, government officials, business people, and Medical Doctors, among others who had traveled to the Southern Africa region for various.

After fulfilling the standard procedures issued by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health of Uganda, guidelines by the South African government and other Governments in the Southern Africa region, the Ugandans were seen off at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg by the Acting High Commissioner to South Africa Amb. Kintu Nyago, Julius Kivuna, Sarah Nakamya,  Joy Jogole (Immigration attache), and other mission staff.

The Ag. High Commissioner Ambassador, Kintu Nyago thanked Ugandans and other legal residents for their patience during the difficult times they have endured as a result of the pandemic and wished them a safe journey.