The Minister for State Foreign Affairs, Oryem Henry informed Parliament about the lack of labour export agreements between Ugandan Government and the United Arab Emirates.
The matter came up during the plenary sitting one 16th of May, while Parliament was debating on the Committee report of the Foreign affairs committee on the Ministerial Policy statement for the Financial year 2017/2018. Chairing the house was Speaker Kadaga
The minister informed members of Parliament that any company that is taking Ugandans to work in the UAE is doing it illegally for there isn’t any agreement in place for Uganda export labour.
“During our recent visit to UAE as members of the Budget Committee, we visited Jaira State where we found a Labour Recruitment Center whose for all intent and purpose resembles a well-organized slavery market.” Said Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi
Kivumbi also noted that they established that Ugandan girls were allegedly being mistreated in the forcing 16 girls between to commit suicide between February and August 2017.
Kivumbi’s revelations followed a statement by Minister Oryem, who said that there was no slave market in the UAE. He said that the allegations are incorrect and a misinterpretation of what is on the ground.
Oryem told parliament these statements have resulted in a diplomatic protest raised by the UAE saying that they felt that their country is being put in bad light. He said that Uganda’s Mission in the UAE has checked and found no slave market.
He further added that the UAE has asked Uganda to explain how the matter arose. Oryem updated parliament that they have since recalled Uganda’s envoy to the UAE Nimisha Madhvani for consultation to try to find means to reinstate the diplomatic relations between Uganda and UAE.
Speaker Kadaga questioned why Uganda has no agreement with the UAE yet many Ugandans are in the UAE. But Oryem explained that the Ministry of Labour is in the process of negotiating and having an agreement between the two countries.
“ As a Minister, you should visit the alleged slavery market and find out what is happening in the area, and report back to parliament”
Members of Parliament demanded a set-up of a special committee to carry out an investigation into the alleged modern slavery market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Ugandan girls are reported to be sold off.
Kadaga then ruled that she would communicate her final decision on the matter today.