Special Reports

British embassy denies Nyanzi UK visa for going naked  


Dr. Stella Nyanzi

The British Embassy in Kampala has denied Makerere lecturer Stella Nyanzi a visa to the UK for appearing naked on live television months ago.

Nyanzi nearly broke the internet when she stripped in public protesting a decision by her boss Prof Mahmood Mamdani to evict her.

Although Nyanzi who is currently on suspension from Makerere Institute of Social Reearch says the reasons for the refusal of the visa “are totally stupid”, the embassy said it reviewed her record, which was not appealing at all.

“It must require one to be very thick-headed and paranoid to be this UK-visa officer. I was booked to fly to Cambridge for a conference on Monday of this week. My passport was not ready in time for my flight. So, I cancelled the trip. I am not that keen on the cold weather, polluted air, congestion, non-familiar foods, accents and high costs for foul inorganic stuff in the UK,” Nyanzi said.

The embassy said since she was convicted of misconduct and insubordination by the Makerere Appointments Committee, Nyanzi could not be allowed in the UK.

The embassy said a recommendation letter Nyanzi presented came before she was rushed to the disciplinary committee.

“You have declared that you are employed as a Research Fellow for Makerere University, earning 3,000,000 UGX (£608) per month. However, checks by our office have revealed that you are currently the subject of disciplinary action for gross misconduct and insubordination from the university.”

The embassy said it was not satisfied with Nyanzi’s intentions to visit the UK or the fact that she would maintain herself while in the UK.

“…I am not satisfied as to your intentions in wishing to travel to the UK now. I am not satisfied that you genuinely intend a short visit only to the UK and that you will leave the UK at the end of the visit.”



In her protest of “unfairness at the embassy”, Nyanzi said she was very interested in exchanging academic ideas, networking with old friends or making new links, and also the rare opportunity to receive feedback on her paper.

“And although I provided copies of the return ticket, accommodation and stipends given to me by the conference conveners, the thick-headed immigration officer doubted my ability to afford the costs of maintenance, accommodation and air travel to and from the UK.”

Nyanzi said she has been in and out of that god-forsaken country a million times. I always return home.

“That is why I have a thick wad of passports. I love Uganda much much much! Why would I want to stay in the UK? Why would anyone think the UK is better than Uganda? Foolish colonisers!”


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