Singer Chameleone demonstrates at Tanzanian Embassy over passport
Posted Thursday, July 26 2012 at 17:58
Work came to a standstill at the Tanzanian embassy along Kagera Road in Kampala when singer Joseph Mayanja aka Jose Chameleone pitched camp outside the embassy building demanding for the release of his passport. Dressed in a blue kitenge, blue jeans and yellow slippers, Chameleone with a mattress, jerrycan and guitar in hand, lay down his tools and took a nap attracting the attention of passers-by as well as embassy security.
Chameleone alleges that on July 8, a Tanzanian promoter identified as Eric Shigongo took away his passport and two others belonging to his minders Sulaiman Kalisa and Kibalama Denis at Atriums Hotel in Kinondoni, Dar-es-salam, Tanzania.
Chameleone told this newspaper that the promoter who had hired him to perform at the Saba Saba show on July 7, requested Chameleone and his collegues to hand him their passports alleging he wanted to photocopy them for purposes of taxation with the revenue authorities in Tanzania.
“Eric didn’t return the passports. When I met him outside the hotel, he told me he was demanding me $3500. He told me he had given the said amount to my manager a one George Mugabo in Kampala as deposit for the show a few weeks back,” Chameleone said.
With placards that read “Tanzania help me,” “I need my passport,” the crowd at the Tanzanian embassy swelled and police was called in to calm the situation. It took the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Lt. Gen. Kale Kaihura who convinced Chameleone to go with him and solve the matter amicably.
Chameleone and Gen. Kaihura met at the Muyenga Community Police where the singer explained that he reported the matter to Oyster Bay Police station in Kinondoni before he secured temporary travel documents from the Ugandan Embassy in Tanzania to travel back home. The singer also explained that he got in touch with the police In Kampala and affected the arrest of Mugabo George who was detained to CPS Kampala on Monday. Chameleone said he had also met the Tanzanian ambassador in Kampala twice but the meetings bore no fruits.
“To my dismay, I traveled to Rwanda for shows at Serena Hotel and I was shocked when I saw Geroge standing outside Serena Hotel In Kigali. He even threatened to hurt me.” Chameleone claims.
The Police chief who listened in disbelief, ordered the VIPPU commandant Erias Kasaraba to ensure the passports are returned to Uganda. The IGP also ordered for further investigations into the matter. “I’m going to call Kataratambi and ask him to investigate this thoroughly, I also want the person who was handling the case at CPS investigated and suspended with immediate effect,” Gen. Kaihura ordered Kasaraba.
Kasaraba told Gen. Kaihura that he had called authorities in Tanzania and a one Col. Kasaijja was on a plane to Kampala with the three passports.
Chameleone, however insisted that he would go back to the Tanzanian embassy if he had not received his passports by the end of the day.