Labor exporters want gov’t to facilitate return of Ugandan workers stuck abroad

Labor exporters call on government to facilitate the return of workers stranded abroad following the closing of Entebbe airport and Uganda’s boarders in light of COVID 19.

President Yoweri Museveni closed the airport on March 22, 2020 as part of measures to prevent importation of corona virus into the country.

Ms. Enid Nambuya, the Executive Director of the Uganda Association of External Recruitment agencies says subsequently, several workers whose contracts expired, those deported and those wanting to return home have been stranded at their respective Ugandan embassies, deportation facilities and police stations while others are living in very poor conditions trying to make ends meet.

Government has started facilitating the return of nationals stranded abroad with the first batch landing at Entebbe airport on Tuesday June 23rd from Khartoum Sudan. Foreign Affairs State minister Henry Okello Oryem says all those willing to return home must register with their respective embassies and be willing to incur their travel costs back. He also says that they will not be received by relatives or friends upon arrival at Entebbe Airport. Instead, they will be taken to a quarantine facility.

President Yoweri Museveni in his last address to the nation on matters COVID 19 says all returnees will need medical certificates as a prerequisite to facilitate their return. However, the repatriation of Ugandans abroad is being conducted in a phased manner with thousands yet to return home.

Ms. Nambuya also calls upon government to avail a grant to enable labor exporters cope with the losses brought about by the COVID pandemic.

She says by the time boarders were closed in March, several labour export companies that were processing paper work for those seeking employment abroad made losses in  the moneys they had spent. This declared them redundant with no money to pay rent for office premises since they have been put out of business.

 

 

 Story by
Leah Kahunde Ndung’u
25/06/2020