Commissioner of Police in Charge of Anti-human Trafficking Moses Binoga has Sunday witnessed the departure of 90 youths to Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dhuba where they will work as cleaners, truck drivers, security and catering staff.
At the send-off, Binoga assured the youths they are in “safe hands” since Middle East Consultants limited is among the 65 companies licensed with the Ministry of Gender and labour.
The police boss further called upon those intending to work in foreign land to ensure they deal with registered companies, because the reverse puts their lives at risk and in danger.
“When you are taken by a licensed company, you are guaranteed of protection, you know they will return you home, but if you don’t follow that, you risk being imprisoned or deported.”
For security, he also encouraged them to get contacts of ambassadors in the different destinations so as to approach them for help.
Asked on what government is doing to curb human trafficking, Banoga noted that they have imprisoned a number of traffickers and have also put up stringent policies and laws.
“Currently, when a person is caught, they serve 5 years when it’s the first time and 7 years when it’s the second. For those who sexually abuse or cause death, the penalty is life imprisonment.”
Binoga mentioned Malaba and Busia through Kenya as the main routes of human trafficking.
In conclusion, he lauded Middle East Consultants (MEC) for the “wonderful work” as they have always adhered to the laws, and have not been caught in wrong.
To license a company, he explained, assessment is done on how the company intends to pay workers, work schedule, working conditions among other standards that protect human rights.
MEC Managing Director, Gordon Mugyenyi’s presentation focused on tipping students about taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more skills, especially entrepreneurship from the Arabs.
He also encouraged them to form groups in which they can lend and contribute money to support each other financially and establish projects that will be useful as they return.
To ensure they don’t waste money, Mugyenyi has started visiting them while they are both abroad and at home to keep monitoring their progress.
He also asked them to maintain discipline in order to avoid embarrassing the country (Uganda) they are representing.
MEC will next Tuesday (July 4) be sending more 34 people to work as caterers.
What the youths say
Bashir Ssemwogerere, 29, a former taxi driver in Entebbe wants to make more money from abroad because he wouldn’t meet his expectations while here.
Commenting on the negativity people attach to working in Middle East, he believes “people who suffer from there are those taken without work permits and unlicensed companies.”
For Richard Twesigomwe, who dropped out university due to lack of tuition in first year, he went abroad because he is “partly curious” and also because he couldn’t get a good job in Uganda.
When asked how he will use his money; Peter Oketch, 25, said he will buy land when he returns and also secure money to purchase a car.