By Andrew Visper firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA: The National organization for trade union (NOTU) has warned the legislature to stop involving politics in labour export issues because it’s a national development matter and if they own a heart of nationalism and love for their country then they should stop looking for their individual stomach.
This said by the Secretary General NOTU Peter Christopher Werikha while addressing the congregation of people at the 2nd national symposium and expo on externalization of labour organised by the Uganda association of external recruitment agency (UAERA) at Kololo air strip under the them ‘Promoting safe and productive labour migration’.
Peter said that today we are here to witnessed ‘UAERA’ the recruitment association of all recruitment agencies in Uganda and totally to over 160 companies and this are people who supporting the workers here in Uganda and those who not been employed get them work out side the country.
“I want to say, what’s happening here is for uganda’s to come and see which company is officially taking people out side the country for work, what are the requirements, so that people don’t end of going into wrong hands of people” Said Peter
Peter added that, majority of this problem, who are going out the country are from people being trafficked, when you want to trace which company took them becomes a challenge to trace and this become big challenge to us.
“As leaders of all the workers come from ‘NOTU’ we joined UAERA to see that they will protect the workers who go and also look for those very organization that are being trafficking this workers” Said Peter
However member of parliament are pursuing issues of exporting labour money that’s being collected by the agency and see how they spend, for as worker’s we don’t find it a an issue, this money is done by the Annual General Meeting (AGM), this an association grand by AGM and it’s AGM decides to pay or otherwise to remove the money.
“If they continue pursuing such kind of line they are going to miss out the point where companies will stop exporting labour and our children are to end up going through Joma Kinyata, going through Kigali and going to be punished to the extent of loosing life. Am appealing to members of parliament come here and see what happening and explain what you expect they should not done because everyone doesn’t need trafficking, today is our day of no trafficking but formal exporting where you go through normal and once you get problems the association takes you back in a good way” Said Peter
Meanwhile in this very month of November, a group of legislators demanded investigations into the mismanagement of the external labor monitoring fund by Yassin Abdul Aziz Musoke. The legislators alleged that statements from Stanbic Bank indicated that 185 labour export companies pay US$ 70 for each laborer on two private account numbers belonging to Musoke.
However, Andrew Tumwine Kameraho, the chairperson UAERA, says the US$ 70 goes to the association accounts and not Musoke’s private account. He says Musoke is just their consultant they hired in 2017 to help them monitor the laborer abroad.
He says Musoke was a suitable candidate because he was living in Saudi Arabia, knew Arabic and was a private businessman who could offer the service they needed.
He says the money is used to run association activities like training of labor and monitor the status of the workers abroad. UAERA works with laborers in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, which have a labor agreement with Uganda.
In 2016, Government banned exportation of domestic labor due to rampant reports indicating torture of the exported workers.
However, the ban was lifted a year later on condition that mechanisms be put in place to ensure safe labor exportation and respect for rights of worker.