Stella Nyanzi manages to slip past Uganda immigration to travel to Kenya


Stella Nyanzi managed to travel outside Uganda despite the travel ban that had been imposed on her. The controversial activist says she was not sure she would be allowed out of Uganda when she booked air ticket.

“This morning I travelled to Entebbe International Airport to test the status of the travel ban that was imposed on me in March 2017. I checked in with KQ 421 heading to Nairobi, the city of my childhood as a refugee whose parents were fleeing from the dictatorships of deceased Idi Amin and deceased Milton Obote. I got my boarding card from a pleasant Kenyan brother with a smiling face. I hoped that the gods were smiling on me. I went to empty my bladder; just in case the drama of the former travel ban repeated itself,” wrote Stella Nyanzi wrote in part on Sunday November 19th.

Stella was arrested in April and charged with cyber harassment. The prominent feminist academic called president Museveni ‘a pair of buttocks’ and his wife Janet ’empty-brained’ on her posts on Facebook.

Stella Nyanzi. Photo/Facebook

Stella was briefly detained at Luzira Maximum Security Prison before she was released. The feminist was however barred from traveling outside the country.

The controversial activists reveals that she was held up at Entebbe International Airport for several minutes after immigration officials discovered that she had been barred from traveling out of the country.

“I made my way to the immigration post with a mixture of both excitement and fear. Memories of the trauma of being told I was on a No-Fly-List washed afresh over my entire being. Two passengers ahead of me were quickly served. Then it was my turn. “Good morning,” I called out cheerily as I handed my passport and boarding card to the red-eyed tired-looking Immigration Officer. She looked up at me with a bored look. And then she smiled. She scanned my passport into her computer. She rolled her red tired eyes. She scrolled down. Her eyes enlarged. And then she squinted. She frowned. She typed furiously into her computer for some seconds. Her mouth dropped. She whispered something-something to her neighbour who had stamped through ten people as I waited,” wrote Stella.

“She proceeded to ask me if I had clearance to travel. I told her that I have my passport and a boarding pass like all free Ugandans. She asked for the status of court case. I told her that my lawyers had written to the court about my trip. She asked this. And she asked that. I asked her if I could sit aside as I waited for her bosses to call their bosses in ever rising echelons of power. I sat down to write my long post about the diminishing freedoms in Uganda. After thirty-eight minutes of waiting, the officer with tired eyes told me that her shift was over. She had handed my documents over to the next shift. It was my turn to be bored and unamused!” added Stella.

Stella says she nearly jumped up with excitement when immigration officer gave her the green light to travel to Kenya. She explains that the immigration officer told her she had rights to travel abroad just like any Ugandan.

Stella Nyanzi’s air ticket. Photo/Facebook

“After five minutes, a jolly voice called me. “Madam Nyanzi, wama come and you go,” she said. I sprung up with hope. I looked into the gently smiling eyes of the fresh-looking immigration officer starting her duty. She was wearing mauve lipstick that was close to my purple.

“Have I now been cleared by the bosses of the bosses of the bosses of Uganda?” I asked. “I have stamped your passport and given it back to you. You are a Ugandan with a right to travel like any other Ugandan,” she said.

“I nearly jumped up and down with excitement. I wanted to hug her. I almost ran to the boarding gates. Kenya here I come…” Stella Nyanzi narrated.




About James Lubogo

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