Singer Edirisa Musuuza, also known as Eddy Kenzo was part of the group of 56 Ugandans who had been stranded in West Africa who returned home in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
By the time the pandemic broke out, Kenzo had gone to Ivory Coast for a music concert.
On Saturday morning, the group landed at Entebbe International Airport at 1:15am aboard Uganda Airlines flight number UR212 before being welcomed by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uganda Airlines, Ministry of Health and Civil Aviation Authority.
The group of Ugandan nationals and legal residents who had been stranded in West African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, the Gambia, Niger, the Republic of Guinea and Cameroon due to the Coronavirus pandemic also included professionals, academics, students and businessmen who live and or work in West Africa.
Eddie Kenzo took to his Facebook page and wrote;
Fellow Ugandans, I greet you in the name of Allah and the almighty God. Today, I and other Ugandans arrived safely at the Entebbe International Airport aboard Uganda Airlines. First and foremost, I thank God for enabling me to come back home safely. This all seemed like a far fetched possibility but by His Grace, I and very many Ugandans have been repatriated back home safely. I would like to thank everyone that pushed and prayed for my return. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, May Allah bless you all abundantly. To my Big talent family, Eddy Kenzo fans and the media that came to the airport, I recognize your efforts and the love you showed me yesterday despite my delay. I also want to congratulate the Ugandan Government, the Uganda Airlines and the Task Force and its members for an extremely efficient and professional undertaking of this whole repatriation process. To all my friends, fans, and family that supported me in Abidjan, I am forever indebted to you for your support and for making my stay worth while throughout the time I was in your country. I’ve been placed under quarantine for 14 days as per the standard precautionary measures but I am hopeful that I will be reunited with all of you very soon. I appeal to you all to stay safe and take Covid-19 seriously. For God and My Country.
Following their return, the group was taken for mandatory 14 days quarantine as one of the ways to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
This was Uganda Airlines’ maiden flight to West Africa since its revival in 2019 and for ease of movement, four assembly points were identified in Lagos(Nigeria), Accra(Ghana), Abidjan(Ivory Coast) and Doula(Cameroon) where Ugandans had to converge be picked by the national carrier’s Bombadier.
The Uganda High Commissioner to Nigeria, Nelson Ocheger later saw off the group in Lagos before the journey back home began.
Government recently said a total of 2300 Ugandans stranded in various countries across the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic would be returned home.
The exercise that started over a month ago has seen over 1000 Ugandans who had been stranded in South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, UAE, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Sudan and Turkey and India return home.
Earlier on Friday, another group of 167 Ugandans who had been stranded in Qatar returned home.