NM Grace Nsubuga, Ugandan Olympic National, denied U.S. Visa!!

NM Grace Nsubugu

Following is a brief addressed to interested parties in the chess world pertaining the to denial of visa to Ugandan national, Grace Nsubuga. A two-time Chess Olympiad representative, Mr. Nsubuga was scheduled to participate in both the World Open and the Wilbert Paige Memorial (WPM) chess tournaments. The U.S. Consul in Uganda summarily denied his request. International Arbiter and WPM organizer, Jerry Bibuld has contacted the Consulate concerning apparent discrepancies in the criteria of the visa denial. Thus far, the answers (concerning the denial) have been less than satisfactory.

Jerry Bibuld, an International Chess Arbiter and organizer of the historic Wilbert Paige Memorial has been informed that Grace Nsubuga has been denied a visa to travel to the United States for chess competitions in the month of July. The U.S. Consulate of Uganda,headed by Consul Helen Johnston contends that there needs to be a burden of proof to show that Mr. Nsubuga will return to Uganda after competing. In response, Mr. Bibuld raises the question, "Incidentally, how does one go about proving he will return to his family and homeland?  And, why should the 'land of the free and home of the brave' require such proof in order to issue a visa?"

Mr. Nsubuga, the son of a physician, is duly registered to compete in Philadelphia's World Open tournament with about 1500 other participants from around the world between June 30-July 8. He was also invited to compete in the Wilbert Paige Memorial tournament to be held July 14-23 in Harlem. Mr. Bibuld asserts in his letter that Consul Johnston's rationale for denying the visa seems to be based on gross assumptions of Mr. Nsubuga's character. Mr. Bibuld questions whether Consul Johnston's assumptions may be that Mr. Nsubuga intends to (1) seek "quick" economic opportunities in U.S.  (2) plan some politically-charged act of terrorism or (3) frolic about in some adventurous acts of reckless behavior. Mr. Bibuld argues the contrary, offers character references,  and remarks:

NM Nsubuga has played on the Ugandan Olympiad team in Armenia (1996), Kalmykia (1998) and Turkey (2000).  In addition, he has traveled to Egypt to represent his national federation in the World Chess Championship Cycle and has visited Egypt and Kenya to play in international tournaments hosted by those two countries.

Mr. Bibuld further states:

NM Nsubuga is a professional chess master. Now, he has the possibility of winning relatively big money and -- more importantly, in the world of chess -- earning norms toward the coveted FIDE title of International Master.  But the racism of a U. S. bureaucrat seeks to prevent him from pursuing his vocation and life's work.

Mr. Bibuld asserts that the decision of the U.S. government is irrational, unfair and warrants an investigation. If you have any information or expertise that may help bolster the chances of Mr. Nsubuga's visa approval, please contact Mr. Jerry Bibuld at
chessphoto@aol.com, or phone him directly at (914) 939-5023.

Contact Links

Full text of Mr. Jerry Bibuild's Press Release

Wilbert Paige Memorial tournament

U.S. Consul in Uganda

Kampala (IV and NIV Issuing Post)
U.S. Embassy, Consular Section
Parliament Avenue
P.O. Box 7007
Kampala, Uganda
Tel.: [256] (41) 25979/3/5
Fax: (256)(41) 259794

Posted by The Chess Drum: 10 June 2001