Ugandan musician and activist Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, on Saturday claimed he was held and questioned in Dubai ahead of his planned concert.
Through a series of tweets, the former legislator said he was detained for close to 8 hours upon his arrival and his phone and passport were confiscated.
“Landed in Dubai at 8:30pm. It’s now 5am. I’ve been held & interrogated for 8hrs. They asked me about NUP, its leaders, their phone numbers, my family members & their contacts!
“I have all the necessary travel docs. They’ve confiscated my passport & my phone. Am literary under arrest,” he tweeted.
The National Unity Platform (NUP) leader, who is in Dubai for a charity concert, said he was interrogated about his party.
An hour later he updated his followers that his documents and phone had been returned to him but he was still unsure whether his concert would go on as scheduled.
“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. Thanks
“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're only trying to raise awareness and assist the many Ugandan and African Immigrant workers.”
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According to the singer, the proceeds from the concert will be used to assist Ugandan and other African immigrant workers amid growing complaints of mistreatment abroad.
A report from Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development estimates that at least 24,000 Ugandans leave the country annually in search of greener pastures in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia was the most preferred destination, closely followed by the United Arab Emirates which has taken over 19,000 workers in the last six years.