The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control – DCIC has revealed that 75,000 out of over 100,000 Ugandans living in the United Arab Emirates – UAE were trafficked.
Simon Peter Mundeyi, the spokesperson of Ministry of Internal Affairs including DCIC said these Ugandans have been trafficked over the years by money minded individuals.
As a result, Mundeyi said many Ugandans have been piled in illegal houses in UAE where they are once in while picked by agents to do odd jobs for days’ survival. Mundeyi explained that hundreds of such Ugandans have ended up being arrested and jailed for illegally being in UAE.
Mundeyi said there are many fraudulent companies trafficking Ugandans and the victims never bothered to crosscheck with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development which registers and licenses labour exporters.
A number of Ugandans have been crying out to the government and other able Ugandans to help them return home in order to survive what they are describing as harsh conditions. National Unity Platform – NUP party president Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has been mobilizing resources to repatriate stranded Ugandans.
“There are still hundreds of Ugandans stuck in detention, while others are on the streets in the Middle East. Let’s continue doing whatever we can to speak about their plight but also assist them in every way possible to return home,” said Kyagulanyi.
By close of last week, NUP members and other well-wishers had paid tickets and returned over 40 Ugandans. On Saturday, the government of UAE in conjunction with Uganda’s foreign and internal affairs ministries returned 156 Ugandans.
“156 Ugandans have returned from UAE where they were staying illegally without working Visas. They had over lived their visit or work Visas. Others were lured by employment companies but they were going to get jobs,” Mundeyi said.
The government said UAE had pardoned over 1500 Ugandans for illegally staying and they were set to be brought back in phases. Mundeyi explained that UAE had also paid air tickets for their repatriation. When a person illegally stays in any foreign country, he or she is supposed to first pay a fine for each the days unlawfully spent in that nation. In Uganda, illegal foreign pay $20 per each day illegally spent here.