Author with British citizenship banned from flying home to UK

The Ugandan-born literature award winner said she felt “numb” after she was prevented from boarding a Ryanair flight from Brussels to her home in Manchester.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a British citizen who has lived in the UK for 21 years, was returning from a literature festival when she was barred from checking in.

The 54-year-old novelist, who won the 2018 Wyndham-Campbell Literary Award and the 2014 Commonwealth Storytelling Award, said she was shocked by her treatment.

Macumby, who taught at Manchester Metropolitan University and Lancaster University, was granted indefinite leave to remain in 2012 and British citizenship this year. She applied for a British passport in April and was waiting for an appointment.

She had no problem travelling to Belgium on her Ugandan passport and biometric residence permit. But on Wednesday night, Ryanair staff at Brussels Charleroi airport prevented her from checking in for a return flight to Manchester, where she lives with her husband and son.

Makumbi said: “I was travelling on the same passport, with the same indefinite stay card. But then on my return the gentleman in charge at Ryanair decided I wasn“t going to fly because my indefinite leave to remain had an expiry date, which was in April this year, but in Britain that expiry date is ignored because it is indefinite leave to remain. And, in fact, immigration also ignores it. So when I walked out, Ryanair didn”t bother with it and I showed it to them.

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