The final phase of repatriating Ugandans who had been stuck in Rwanda due to Coronavirus-induced lockdown ended Wednesday as 80 more Ugandans entered the country through the Gatuna/Katuna border post.
"The High Commission of the Republic of Uganda in Kigali, Rwanda has successfully repatriated a group of 80 Ugandan nationals including children. This makes 273 so far repatriated massively in addition to the 97 people who were repatriated on a case by case basis. Total repatriated is 370," the deputy head of mission at the Ugandan embassy in Rwanda, Ms Anne Katusiime said in a statement.
The first phase of Ugandans crossing from Rwanda was conducted on September 15, the second on September 19 and the third September 23.
"The Embassy undertook the registration and verification processes and coordinated their return aboard three Volcano buses and one private vehicle from Kigali through Gatuna/Katuna border destined for Kampala. I congratulate all the repatriated Ugandans for the resilience and patience they have exhibited during this trying period.
This is the last group of stranded Ugandans to be repatriated from Rwanda. Other Ugandan nationals in Rwanda will have to wait until the situation is normal. I wish you safe journey and always abide by Ministry of Health guidelines to fight the spread of corona virus," Ms Katusiime said.
She said those repatriated include teachers whose contracts were terminated after schools were closed because of the coronavirus-induced lock down. Other bar workers and some business people that have opted to transfer their businesses back home.
According to her, a total of about 3,000 Ugandans had been staying in Rwanda before the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Ugandan immigration officials led by Mr Wallace Bindeeba received the repatriated Ugandans and said that they would be transported to Kampala where the ministry of health officials would determine where to quarantine them from for 14 days as per the coronavirus guidelines.
One of the repatriated Ugandans told this reporter that he has been working in Rwanda for three years and everything was okay until the virus lockdown was announced in March.
"Life and business was okay in Rwanda before the lock down. It became hard after the lock down was announced because I was not working yet in needed money for my daily up keep. I am happy to be back to my mother land," one of the repatriated Ugandan said.
Mr Boogere Issah, the Chairman of the Ugandan Association in Rwanda lauded all Ugandans for their cooperation and support, in terms food relief and financial, to fellow Ugandans during the lockdown period and urged them to continue with the spirit.