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Entebbe Denies Landing

Ugandan opposition leader denied boarding by Kenya Airways

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  May 11, 2011

UGANDA (eTN) - The CEO of Kenya Airways, Dr. Titus Naikuni, has just released a statement explaining the circumstances under which Ugandan opposition leader Besigye was denied boarding this morning in his attempt to return to Kampala. The Kenyan national airline had received information that the flight would be denied landing in Entebbe, causing the plane to turn back to Nairobi and inconveniencing passengers.

Besigye was asked to step aside when trying to check-in until the airline was able to ascertain from competent authorities at Entebbe International Airport that any aircraft carrying him would be allowed to land, and once that information was at hand, he was rebooked on to the late afternoon flight from Nairobi to Entebbe.

The Media Centre in Kampala, however, sent out a statement to the press that Besigye had apparently declined to travel on the evening flight, further complicating the situation.

Meanwhile, several head of states and government have arrived in Entebbe who will witness the swearing in of President Museveni tomorrow at the ceremonial grounds in Kololo and have settled down at the Commonwealth Resort in Munyonyo, from where they are also expected to hold bilateral and multilateral talks with their Ugandan hosts.

Following is the Kenya Airways statement in full as received just a few hours ago and signed by Titus Naikuni, Group Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways:

Kenya Airways would like to confirm to its passengers, customers, investors, and the public that Ugandan Opposition Leader Dr. Kizza Besigye is now scheduled to depart on KQ414/May 11 departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for Entebbe International Airport at 1750 hrs.

Dr. Besigye was earlier denied boarding on KQ 410/May 11 at 0800 hours following information from Kenya Airways internal intelligence sources that the aircraft would not be allowed to land at the Entebbe International Airport if he was on board. Dr. Besigye thus could not board the aircraft as Kenya Airways had to first ascertain this information without inconveniencing the other passengers destined for Entebbe.

The airline has now confirmed and issued Dr. Besigye and his wife tickets to depart Nairobi in the evening. The airline takes earliest opportunity to apologize to Dr. Besigye for any inconveniences caused.

Ugandan opposition leader denied boarding by Kenya Airways
Mrs. & Dr. Kizza Besigye / Image via

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