“LIFE IS DIFFICULT IN UGANDA” – WEIGHTLIFTER SAYS AS HE GOES MISSING IN JAPAN
20-year old Ugandan weightlifter, Julius Ssekitoleko went missing in Tokyo on Friday July 16 after failing to qualify for the Olympic Games which is set to begin on July 20, 2021.
He was declared missing after he failed to show up for his daily COVID-19 test and a note stating that he did not want to return to his home country was found in his hotel room.
This is not the first time Ugandan athletes have used international sports events to start better lives away from their home country. Ssekitoleko must have gotten cues from them and decided to follow their paths.
In 2014, two members of the Ugandan rugby sevens team went missing after competing in the Commonwealth Games that held in Glasgow, Scotland. It was revealed that they claimed asylum and ended up playing for a rugby team in Cardiff.
Four years after, two Ugandan athletes went missing during the 2018 Commonwealth Games that held in Gold Coast, Australia. In the same event, Ssekitoleko competed in the Men’s 56kg weightlifting final and finished 10th.
Ssekitoleko in his note stated that living in Uganda is difficult and wants to work in Japan. He also directed that his belongings be sent back to his wife.
The 20-year old was last spotted at Nagoya Station in central Japan about 200 kilometers away from his delegation’s hotel.