EXCLUSIVE: Uganda-Malaysia Sex Slavery Bubble Bursts

pilule geneva;”>He said, according to El Muno editor Pablo Rodriguez: “Resist, we are the 4th power of the Euro Zone. Spain is not Uganda.”

Translated, the phrase means “we’re a major power, not some random IMF-case banana Republic.”

The abusive comment has enraged the nation, with Ugandans taking to Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage at the Spanish Prime Minister’s arrogance.

Jolly Z Mutesi said: “Perhaps they first sort out their insolvent state..!!”

Interestingly, Uganda’s economy has of late been performing poorly with Bank interest rates at a staggering 20%.

Unemployment levels especially in urban areas are soaring at unprecedented levels and living conditions seriously deteriorating.

President Yoweri Museveni, in his State Of The Nation Address last week, said the economy was booming though disrupted by what he termed as FDC leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s “lawlessness which has scared away tourists thus shortage of foreign exchange and appreciation of the dollar against the shilling.”

The FDC deputy publicity secretary Toterebuka Bamwenda told press at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Monday that among the economic troubles facing Uganda include poor remuneration of civil servants.

“FDC urges government to establish a salary remuneration review commission so as to look into the affairs of all salary earners in the country. This will bridge the gap between the low income earners and the high income earners,” said Bamwenda.

He added that the president’s mission of only considering scientists for salary increment in the National budget is unfair to other civil servants especially teachers, judges, police officers and the army who earn only peanuts that can’t sustain them and their families for a period of 30 days.

“Government should consider salary increment for other civil servants in the country before reading the budget. It’s not too late to fix their increment in the budget,” he said.

He added that politicians, body guards and drivers earn more than teachers and judges and the rest of other Ugandans who are salary earners, and this has left many local Ugandans wallowing in poverty.

Spanish Prime Minister’s Outburst

Meanwhile, Rajoy further said: This is the problem the German government is going to have as the eurozone crisis moves up the food chain.

Countries like Estonia are happy to be involved in the European project as a way of showing their arrival on the world stage and to try to ward off the Russians.

Spain is hard to boss around. Italy is even harder. If things come to a head between Germany and France, it turns out that the way the EU works (by design!) is that France has all the nuclear bombs and Germany is day-to-day dependent on French electricity exports. But that’s extreme.

We’re just talking about Spain. But the point is that while the Germans do have the power to just wash their hands of Spain, its mismanaged caja banks, its poorly designed version of fiscal federalism, and its unorthodox working hours it is difficult to boss Spain around.

Even with Greece the limits of bossing around are getting reached.

Parliament in March gave the committee mandate to travel to the Asian country following a huge public outcry that dozens of Uganda women were being trafficked to Malaysia where some were killed in cold blood during horrendous sexual encounters with drug mafias.

Pictures of dismembered bodies of Ugandan women were splashed on tabloid covers as the enraged nation wondered what steps government was taking to address the contentious issue.

During their trip, MPs held meetings with Department of National Unity and Integration, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, the Section on African Affairs in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ministry of Home Affairs and also visited Kajang Prison.

The legislators discovered that the trafficked girls live in brothels which act as detention camps.

“The other group of detainees are girls rounded up either from the streets without relevant documents or those smoked out of the brothels which are housed in condominium houses mean to be places of aboard for low income earners; such accommodation are what the traffickers use as residences for the girls in the process of their prostitution deals,” reads part of the report compiled after a six-day investigation that started on March 3.

The MPs also discovered that Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have tight mechanisms to stop the vice.

Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Mugume, however, said the ministry is trying to address the issue through an inter-ministerial committee, to come up with some solutions which may include asking the government of Malaysia to control or refuse liberal entry of Ugandan women into Malaysia and include strict scrutiny of the travelers’ destiny.

Below is an abridged version of the leaked legislators’ report which will be presented to Parliament any time from now. .

The Question of Human Trafficking/Prostitution

Rt. Hon Speaker, I request for your indulgence that I take members through this comprehensive report on the issue of Uganda women prostitution and trafficking in Malaysia as we had promised when we presented a brief statement to this August house.

  1. This was the most heartbreaking of all the subject matters of discussion at the entire course of the program. The delegation had two types of detainees to be visited; those in the real prison convicted and serving their jail terms and those living in detention camps.

  1. In the detention camps were two groups of girls. After serving a jail term, the girls are driven to the remand homes awaiting the placement of their travel documents.

Once the documents are in place, the detainees leave the remand home straight to the airport, without again mingling with the communities left back in Malaysia, regardless of whether they are relatives or not.

  1. The other group of detainees are girls rounded up either from the streets without relevant documents or those smoked out of the brothels which are housed in condominium houses mean to be places of aboard for low income earners; such accommodation are what the traffickers use as residences for the girls in the process of their prostitution deals.

  1. The Delegation visited Kajang Prisons with a concern of visiting the girls under detention. When we set off, the details from the Uganda Consulate was that 18 women were in Kajang Prison; in reality the team got 13 females though of which were elderly women above 40 years and the remaining 11 girls were relatively young, ranging from the ages of 19 to 33 years.

  1. An interaction with the first set of girls, nine in number met acute hostility. Even before we could introduce ourselves, the girls asked us what we wanted from them; and what course of action we would take after talking to them.

They wondered if we were going to buy for them talk time cards which they would use to communicate to persons of the choices.

  1. The other form of resistance came from the lot of girls who claimed that our intention was to find information about them, then broadcast it in the media once we returned to Uganda; releasing their identities in the newspapers, thereby angering their relatives that they were prostitutes in Malaysia.

  1. A close comparison and analysis of the names and ages, the girls gave us, showed a very big contrast. We later came to a conclusion that the girls were hiding their identities. Most of them felt nostalgic and started crying before us.

  1. Almost all the girls we me told us that they had links with Nigerian boyfriends. Even when we asked if they needed tickets to travel back to Uganda, seven of them declined that they had their tickets, save for four. All the 10 girls said they were students, except one.

  1. The moment of truth came when an inmate on remand intimated to us after requesting to be seen in camera.

A close interaction with her, revealed beyond reasonable doubt that all the girls who had appeared before us earlier were not students but prostitutes. According to her, all the girls were “exported” to Malaysia by a racket of men and women deeply involved in human trafficking.

  1. The traffickers recruit girls to work in Satons, homes and any other petty jobs; only to be manipulated on arrival in Malaysia.

On arrival, the travel documents are removed from them, yet they are forced to pay back the costs of travel, together with paying for the accommodation costs in their places of aboard.

  1. The traffickers are well connected and have many branches in big cities in Asia. There are branches in Bangkok, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.

  1. Each girl is expected to pay 300 Ringe per night; an equivalent of US $100 which is given to her by the man who will have used her for that night.

Whereas the night proceeds go to the traffickers, the girl is expected to sleep with other men during the day in order to raise money for upkeep on items like smearing oil, sanitary towels, clothing and food.

  1. The two chief women who took the girls to Malaysia are HIV/AIDS victims and the same girls continue rotating around the same men she used when she had just started the deals; so by any standard most of the girls have been affected with HIV/AIDS.

  1. The tycoon woman does not want the girls to get independent men to settle with so she guards them so jealously because she does not want to lose the business and go through the process of importing other girls time and again. So those who flee from her are treated very badly.

  1. The members were given contacts of the traffickers and their contact points here in Uganda.
  2. We were also given some of the contact points and buildings in Malaysia where some of the trade takes place.

  1. In the same prison with the girls is the Chief Trafficker who vehemently declined to meet us even after leaving the prison cells with the other girls who met us. On reaching the reception area, the women refused to meet us and instead went to visit the clinic.

Even before coming out of her cell, the prison authorities had come back to us three times with information that this wretched woman had refuse to met us.

We were told that she had hired the services of the best lawyers in Malaysia to attend to her case. This is one of the elderly women earlier mentioned.

Because of the long procedures of accessing the girls in prisons and the condensed program, we were unable to visit the other girls in detention camps.

  1. The other danger some of the girls face in a bid to juggle life in the wilderness is the temptation of getting involved in drug-related cases of trafficking which penalty is hanging.

  1. The other relatively elderly woman earlier mentioned in the report was a convicted prison charged for drug trafficking and awaiting her day of hanging.

She had appealed the case, but chances of being pardoned are very slim.

  1. Of the 13 convicted prisoners mentioned above, one was a Munyankore from Mbarara, the other a Mutooro from Fort Portal; whereas the rest were Baganda. There is a racket of people involved in this business because the girls’ travel documents are organized with invitation from a Malaysian university or a technical school twice in a year.

  1. The girls have related stories as if they were tutored on what to say. All have return tickets they had come to study in a Malaysian school yet their return tickets would be paid for by their Nigeria boyfriends.

8 Ugandan Consulate in Malaysia

Without any prior intention to bias Members, this Consulate has turned out to be a serious disappointment.

Even with prior knowledge and arrangements before the journey, the team reached Malaysia and started organizing all the meetings afresh, apart from one scheduled meeting with the Department of National Unity.

On asking for the list of the Ugandan girls in Malaysia, the Consulate could not provide any. Even when we asked for any other details we were only told that there were about 600 Ugandan girls but any other details beyond that was not available.

  1. The interaction between us and the girls became tense, because the girls kept on blaming the Consulate officials claiming that they send pictures about them to Uganda that they are prostitutes.

They even claimed that the Consulate staff does not attend court sessions to be updated on what transpires in court even when the girls call them in advance; to inform the about the proceedings, to the extent that some girls released from cells with documents ready are re-detained since the Malaysia laws do not allow for the convicted persons to go and freely mingle with the Malaysian nationals.

In this case, the girls are forced back to detention camps so as to await arrangements of their travel documents.

  1. A visit at the office of the Consulate with a hope of signing a visitors’ book led us to a residence of the Consulate and the team therefore discovered that the residence of the Consulate is the one serving as an office.
  2. This, therefore, goes to Government; if there is a will to have a Consulate in Malaysia, then it is time Government came up with measures either to upgrade the position of the Consulate or appointed a competent Head to lead the Consulate.

  1. The student working at the Consulate as a driver is the same person serving as an officer carrying out the duties and activities of the Consulate.
  2. It is therefore, the considered view of the Members of the Delegation that the Consulate scales up its performance if the country is to benefit from the office.

9.0 Findings from the Interaction with the Officials of Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs over Cases of Human Trafficking

In an attempt to find a solution to the vice of trafficking of women, we met with the following officials of the Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  1. Amb. James Mugume, the Permanent Secretary,
  2. Ms. Bati Kawooya, the Head of the Diaspora Division.

The major issues we discussed were mainly in the following areas:

(a) Controls in place to curb the vice of human trafficking,

(b) Whether the ministry has a data base of Ugandans living abroad,

(c) The plans that have been set to remedy human (women) trafficking etc.

(d) The fate the women who are now in detention in Malaysia and those trapped in different countries.

The following were the responses I received from the officers: –

  1. The Ministry does not have tight mechanisms to stop the act but is trying, through an inter-ministerial committee, to come up with some solutions which may include asking the government of Malaysia to control/refuse liberal entry of Ugandan women into Malaysia and include strict scrutiny of the travelers destiny.
  2. The Committee is carrying out an inventory of all cases they have for purpose of engaging the missions who give visas, the travel agents who arrange for the travels of these people and even the air line managements.
  3. The Ministry is planning to hold a massive senstisation campaign on 13th April 2012 to create awareness in the masses which will gradually be rolled out to other parts of the country.
  4. The Ministry does not have data for the Ugandans living abroad but holds an annual diaspora event to create an opportunity for them to register voluntarily.
  5. On the issue of the women who are in detention, the officials said that while they share the pain and are concerned, there is need to respect the jurisdiction/ the national laws of those countries. I was also informed the I.O.M offered to bring back some 7 women some time back from Malaysia but they refused.
  6. The Ministry officials noted that there could be deficiencies in the current law making it hard for the desired action to be taken to impede human trafficking. Hence the need to review the relevant laws.

10.0 Recommendations

  1. Parliament should aim at creating policy, legislative, administrative and social influence.

One way of achieving this is requiring that all policies, legislations and budgets are framed having in mind the constitutional command of promoting equality of opportunity.

And the demonstration of that is through presentation of the statement of equity compliance as an accompaniment of all policies, bills, projects, budgets, programs.

  1. Public and private institutions should be required to develop plans of action to address non-discrimination.
  2. Government through its organs should conduct human rights education and training programs.

Teaching on the principles of equality and non-discrimination should be integrated in formal and non-formal education with a view of dismantling nations of superiority or inferiority amongst the citizens.

  1. The committee should urge Parliament to use its power of resource allocation to benefit the marginalized and neglected people. This is because eliminating systematic discrimination will frequently require devoting greater resources to traditionally neglected groups.
  2. The Equal Opportunities Commission and Human Rights Commission should be empowered financially to provide effective remedies and to guarantee the disadvantaged their rights.
  3. Government should be put to ensure that remedies made by the tribunals are effectively implemented.
  4. Is there a law in place to operationalize the Equal opportunity constitutional provision and policy? Is there a law to address discrimination in Uganda? What are the sanctions of the duty bearers who fail to respect and promote equality of opportunity?
  5. Government should guarantee apprenticeship to young graduates for a period of six months to ensure that they acquire practical work skills to enable them get relevant experience for employment.
  6. Government should come up with a policy to support the disabled workforce which may for instance include exempting small businesses operated by PWDs from payment of license fees and other taxes.
  7. Given that many Ugandans are engaged in different business dealings with Malaysia, the delegation recommends that the Consulate be elevated to an Embassy status handling both Malaysia and Singapore.
  8. Socioeconomic programs like NAADS need to be reformed to ensure that monies injected in the program result into actual production. Funds should be disbursed to the beneficiaries who have demonstrated the ability to increase production thus, based on tonnage or other appropriate production quantities.
  9. There should be massive campaigns using the mass media and political leaders’ meetings to vigorously sensitise the public on the vice of human trafficking.
  10. The Police and Interpol should seriously crack down on the syndicate that facilitates the movement of prospective victims of human trafficking and that notices of warning should be placed at airport departure terminals to warn the general public against human trafficking.

11.0 Conclusion

Rt. Hon. Speaker and Hon. Members,

Based on the findings by the delegation as reported above, it is our humble prayer that Government of Uganda commits itself to the issues of equality in opportunities to bring in fairness at all levels and at the same time we implore Government through the Ministries; of Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs and the Embassy that oversees the jurisdiction of Malaysia to closely pay attention to the absurd question of human trafficking and tighten the noose on the porous points where Uganda children are being trafficked and the culprits engaged in this vice should be tracked together with the entire racket and be brought to book.

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