By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: SpyUganda recently revealed how there is stinking rot and lots of Kawukuumi (Been weevils) in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
During our investigations, our Spies established that the Kawuukumi has infested the Ministry’s Labour Export department, whereby several government officials are running a cartel of briefcase Labour Exportation companies, while others are working with labour exporters to cover up acts of selling Ugandans into slavery abroad. However, this morning, the Uganda Poor Youth Movement led by their Spokesperson Zahid Sempala, have also come out and tasked the Ministry of Gender and Labour to clean the stinking rot in their Labour Exportation Department, failure to do which will attract the wrath of the youth. The Youth pressure group made these remarks during at press conference at which they
called for an end to injustice, impunity ,greed and rot at the Uganda Ministry of Gender ,labour and social development. Sempala said that “We are aware and have been following the ongoing actions at the ministry of Gender, labour and social development in as far as approval of operation licenses and renewal of the same is concerned.” He noted that “Senior commissioners and heads of departments in the labour section are running companies that export labour abroad which is a total conflict of interest and against the public code of conduct. This has forced them to hatch a plan of frustrating new companies from getting operation licenses under the guise of streamlining the industry and also frustrating old companies from renewing licenses by putting lengthy renewal requirements and hurdles.”
Semapala added that over 60 companies which had applied with the Ministry to have licenses so as to offer labour recruitment services to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates were informed that registration of labour recruitment companies had been suspended until further notice. However these companies had painfully completed all the necessary documentation, secured bank guarantees and received clearance from all agencies concerned and communication of suspension put their companies in shock and confusion, after they learnt that registration had been suspended, yet they had spent lots of money and time by the time the announcement came. The cries of the proprietors of these companies fell on deaf ears to date and they have since resorted to running to court which we all know will take a lengthy process. Sempala noted that for the issue of renewal of licenses; one classic example is a company called Competitive Manpower International, which has had the renewal of its license frustrated since 2016. It should be noted that prior to 2017 December, applications would be submitted to offices directly and therefore communication would be at the will of the official so if he chose to reply he would, and if he chose not to he would still not reply. So when the online portal was initiated, the official had to give reason for refusal to consider an application.
The press release goes ahead to note that this particular company has applied several times and the applications were denied for several reasons until such time when the officials at the ministry confirmed that all requirements had been fulfilled but the said company had cases of Human trafficking despite having been cleared by Interpol. Isn’t it funny? The organisation founded by former NRM disgruntled youth led by Buyinza Adam notes that human trafficking is a serious offence that cannot be taken lightly. However, the owners of this company wrote to the IGP and even the Permanent Secretary ministry of labour to forward the case details so that they would follow up the issue and put in their defence, if any, but none of the above offices gave any response, which clearly shows that there is no pending cases, because under normal circumstances when you inform someone that they have a case you also state and quote the case. “It should also further be noted that nowhere in the regulations governing such companies does it provide that a license cannot be renewed when a company has pending cases because we all even know that the Constitution of Uganda provides for a person being presumed innocent until proven guilty,” added Sempala.
According to the Poor Youth they have learnt that the said shareholders of the above company are Kenyan and Ministry officials requested that they surrender 51% of their shares to them in order for their license to be renewed which they declined and told them that they put it in writing if it is a legal requirement. It is so absurd that officials at the ministry of labour can involve themselves in such acts of gross misconduct and impunity. Sempala, who was furious, said the worst encounter at the ministry of labour is that in 2014 when one of the senior officials had a company called Reliable Logistics Limited, which withdrew money for all guards in Iraq and closed down, then reopened in names registered in almost similar names to confuse the public. The Poor Youth Movement, which advocates for the Youth Perspective in development policies, thus called upon the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and social development to streamline his ministry within 5 days from today and sort out all pending issues, failure to do which they will stage a massive demonstration and expose all the Kawukuumi involved in the labour exportation scam.