Labour recruiting and exporting agencies have spoken out on the 48 Ugandan workers who have died in Arab countries as a result of reported torture and mistreatment.
Addressing journalists at BMK House in Kampala on Wednesday, Andrew Tumwine Kameraho, the Chairman of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agency (UAERA) rubbished the report by Members of Parliament sitting on the Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development, who said 48 Ugandans died in Arab countries under unclear circumstances.
“Some things in the report need to be scrutinized; many names in the report have no connection with the recruitment companies. Those with big problems are those who were trafficked and some [taken] on individual basis,” Kameraho said.
He added that the association has 75 licensed and legally approved companies that are scrutinized by the Ministry of Gender.
He revealed that they have a working relationship with employers and Arab countries to protect Ugandans working in Arabic countries.
“We have a relationship with the Saudi Arabia government, Lebanon among others. We have guidelines on how to take those girls to work in Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding; “In our contracts, there sections talking about insurance and compensation for those who might experience problems even death.”
He added that they have data on those Ugandans who have rightly been deployed in Arab countries as well as those who have died there.
He said if any of their members is involved in dubious acts, their licenses will be revoked.
Yasin Abdallaziz Musoke, the Labor Liaison Officer for Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait told Red Pepper that most of the information circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups is not authentic.
“Some cases happen but not at this rate. Death is a rare occurrence and we have had like 5 in the last 2 years brought by natural causes. There is a mode of communication for those who are complaining and most of the cases are delayed salaries and food,” he said.
The MPs say that these deaths could have been avoided if Labour Ministry had entered bilateral agreements with Arab countries where Ugandan workers are exported illegally.
Among the countries where the 48 Ugandans died from include Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.