Office of the President has secured an office at Entebbe International Airport in a bid to support and boost the fight against illegal recruitment and also provide an access hub for Ugandans leaving the country for work and returning home after working in the diaspora.
To this, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi convened a meeting which was attended by representatives from Ministry of Gender, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, ISO, ESO, Aviation Police, Port Health, UAERA among other agencies.
In the meeting, Amb.Walusimbi told the other agencies that President Museveni directed them to streamline the labour exportation industry and ensure that Uganda gets out of the gray zone of human trafficking.
“We decided to first take a tour of the airport with the intention of familiarizing the team with the processes that migrant workers go through when going and when returning home. I commend the Director General Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Fred Bamwesigye, and the Director Airports and Aviation Security Eng. Sooma Ayub and the entire airport team for doing a diligent job because at all points we found officials present, exuding good customer care and love for their jobs,” Walusimbi said.
“Since the Office of the President is the overall overseer of all government projects, our operations are not only going to be at the airport, but will spread to all boarder points in a bid to help Ugandans receive the treatment they deserve and protect them from inhuman labour exploitation tactics.”
Maj Emilio Ebema, the deputy Chief Liaison Officer at Entebbe Airport noted that they are grateful to the president for the intervention into the industry and pledged to actively work with office of the president in ensuring the security of Ugandans and protect them from inhuman treatment.
The director of Airports and Aviation Security Eng. Sooma Ayub noted that even though there are still challenges, they are committed to ensuring the best service delivery at the Airport and eliminating any form of crime.
State House Anti Corruption Unit’s Capt Fredrick Bunoti said a WhatsApp line has been opened to the public to report any cases of exploitation of Ugandans abroad.
He noted that government is working towards bringing all unlicenced labour recruitment companies to book.
“We have consistently received complaints about the ongoing malpractice not only in the health sector but also about trafficking in human activities and we are aware of the different rackets involved in this,” said Catherine Nassuuna, a principal assistant secretary in the office of the president.
The Senior Presidential Advisor on Gender and Youth Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, said that the ongoing online yellow fever certificate validation process at the airport is out to help mitigate any forgeries done by people who are out to risk the lives of Ugandans without being vaccinated.
She advised those with forged certificates to refrain from carrying them and instead get vaccinated before going to any point of exit.