By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Government has lifted restrictions on the externalization of labour to allow Ugandans seek jobs abroad again especially in the Middle East.
Minister For Gender, Labour and Social Development dubbed Kibale East legislator Frank Tumwebaze on Tuesday confirmed that Gov’t has lifted the ban and noted that they will issue guidelines as per the ministry of health in order to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“This is to inform all licensed companies involved in the sourcing of external employment for Ugandan migrant workers, that following the relaxing of a number of COVID-19 lock down measures by Ministry of Health and resumption of air travel, Ministry of Gender will be lifting the ban,” he tweeted.
Tumwebaze further revealed that the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender Aggrey Kibenge will expound more in accordance with the existing mandatory SOPs the labour companies must adhere to for all travelers.
In the same vein,Tumwebaze applauded labour export companies under their umbrella body, Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) for their patience over the period of eight months since they closed business due to Covid-19 out break.
UAERA’s Chairman Baker Akantambira said most of the licensed recruitment companies had closed, suspended operations due to rent, salary arrears and other operating costs in their places of operations after they spent the bigger part of the year without working and this directly affected over 4,000 direct employees of these recruitment companies and their dependents.
In March this year, the government suspended the externalisation of labour to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Somalia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Iraq to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Kibenge says, “There is also a growing concern within the sector that the prolonged closure of legal labour migration is fueling an increase in human trafficking as has been witnessed since the airport was opened on 1st October 2020.”
He added, “the suspension of externalization of labour was inevitable given the prevailing conditions [globally], the current move by the Ministry to unilaterally undertake measures directly affecting the labour companies is disturbing.”
The closure had sparked off protests from jobless Ugandans especially women who stormed the Ministry of Gender on Monday and handed in a petition wondering why government continued to give a blind eye to particular few companies that remained operational which promotes human trafficking.