Uganda: Athlete who tried escaping from Olympic returns home

 

Julius Ssekitoleko, a 20-year-old Ugandan weightlifter who was reported to have escaped from the rest of the 2021 Olympic team, has returned home after weeks of trying to get a better life in Japan report published on Thursday by the country’s interior ministry.

 

The athlete who fled his hotel room in Izumisano, a locality in Osaka, was all in tears when Japanese police questioned him and said he never wanted to return home due to some personal reasons that were not disclosed by the police. 

He had left a note in his hotel room stating that he would not return to his country when he found out that he did not meet the standard prescribed by the Olympic committee.

 

He was to return home after failing the standard, but he decided to escape searching for a better life. Still, the police launched a search that forced Ssekitoleko to report himself to the police on Wednesday in Japan.

 

According to a report that the Olympic committee released, athletes have a limit based on where they visit during the games, this is to contain the spread of the deadly Covid_19 virus and also to ensure that some athletes do not escape during and after the games as has often been the case with African athletes.

 

He was spotted around the airport in Osaka and later handed himself to the police, but it is not clear if the athlete will be sanctioned at home for wanting to escape.

Uganda is currently experiencing a surge in Covid_19, forcing President Yoweri Museveni to impose curfew in some areas and restrictions across the country.

 

Last month, Yoweri warned that hospitals were out of their limits and called for strict respect of guidelines instituted to fight against Coronavirus.

Last year, the country experienced a political crisis when Bobi Wine, a popular artist, and the country’s main opposition leader, challenged the results of the last presidential election.

 

Close to a dozen people were killed during post-electoral protests, and the government of Yoweri resulted in shutting down the internet and arrested the main opposition leader for almost a month.

 

Wine was released after intense pressure from the US, who accused President Yoweri of fighting against democratic values. Still, Yoweri responded by accusing the US of wanting to destabilize the country.

 

The country is rich with natural resources though the majority of Ugandans live below the poverty level

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