Top female artiste Iryn Namubiru will be serving more time in jail as security agents in Uganda, Japan and France work out a way forward.
The singer was arrested in possession of drugs on May 7, in Tokyo Japan where she had gone to perform. She was slated to perform at Yotsukaido Cultural Hall in Tokyo. By press time, the director Interpol and Peace Mission, Mr Asan Kasingye, was non-committal on what Namubiru’s fate is.
Mr Kasingye had earlier said Ms Namubiru was treated as a French national, but Uganda Police have written to them to avail them with details of a “Ugandan born” artiste. “We have written to Interpol again to avail us with details of a Ugandan born French national, Namubiru and we think they will give us the details from which we shall start on,” Mr Kasingye said. But in her last message passed on to her fans through her manager, Mr Thaddeus Mubiru, the singer, billed for songs such as Birowozo, Tebiba Bingi, Essimu Y’ekiro, Begombeko, comforted her fans, saying she was ready for justice to prevail as she is innocent.
Yesterday, Ms Namubiru was transferred from Narita Airport Prison to Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo.
Mr Hillary Kiyaga, popularly known as Dr Hilderman, one of the artistes who was supposed to perform alongside Ms Namubiru, yesterday told the Daily Monitor that they were unable to travel for the music fete organised by Mr Kiim Tumwesigye who had invited them.
Japan event organiser speaks out
Mr Kiyaga said the organiser later told them they could not perform as he could not process their travel arrangements on time. “He talked to me first and had wanted me to contact these artistes under my company. But later, he told me we could not go because our visas were not ready on time,” Dr Hilderman explained.
Mr Tumwesigye, in an interview with the Daily Monitor, said he had nothing to do with Ms Namubiru, saying he was shocked when after waiting for the artiste at the airport for seven hours, she could not get to him. “We waited for her from 5pm till midnight and when we contacted the immigration office at the airport, they only told us to keep waiting,” he said. He said it was later on that they learnt that the artiste had been arrested in possession of drugs.
Asked whether he has dealt in drugs before, Tumwesigye said: “I have no idea about drugs because that is not my area of work. I have never touched or dealt in drugs. It was a shocker because even when Iryn was denied entry into Japan we did not think of drugs because it is common for people to be denied entry on emigration grounds.”
Ms Namubiru’s local promoter, Mr Balaam Barugahara, said they have acquired services of a lawyer, a one Yuko Matsumoto, who will represent the singer. Mr Mubiru, the artiste’s manager and brother, said she will appear in court on May 25, three weeks after she was arrested as is required by Japanese law.
Born in 1981 in Central Uganda, Ms Namubiru attended several institutions, including Bugema Adventist Secondary School, Namasagali College, Airways Tourism & Hotel Institute and Stendhal University in France. Music career. She started her career in 1995 when she joined singers-cum-rapper DJs Ragga Dee and Molar a studio keyboardist.
In 1999, she joined Juliana Kanyomozi, her former school mate, and they formed the R&B all-girl group called I-Jay. She later left for France and the group disbanded. However, Namubiru didn’t achieve widespread success until 2006 when she released her album Nkuweeki?.This marked the beginning of her fast rise to be one of the best female musicians in Uganda. Personal details. Ms Namubiru is married to a Frenchman, and together, they have two sons. She is fluent in English, French and Luganda, her native tongue.