The body of Zaituni Zawedde, a resident of Busense Village, Kimaanya-Kabonera Division in Masaka City, who died on January 20 in Saudi Arabia where she had been employed as domestic worker was yesterday (Friday) returned to Uganda following an outcry from her family members.
Zawedde, 23, travelled to Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic worker in 2019 through Forbes Enterprises Limited located in Ntinda-Kiwatule, a Kampala City suburb.
Her contract was reportedly supposed to expire at the end of this month and expected to return to Uganda in March.
Before Zawedde met her death, her sister, Noor Nanteza, said that she had just spoken to her but she was shocked to receive a phone call two hours later from Zawedde’s boss identified as Hanif Mohammed Fahd Al-Dosiri that she had passed on.
The medical report that accompanied her body from Saudi Arabia indicated that she had succumbed to cardiopulmonary arrest.
However, her relatives told this reporter that they had no money to carry out another postmortem report to ascertain what exactly caused Zawedde’s death after spending almost everything they had on repatriation of her body.
Her brother, Mr Huzairu Kikabuzi said the government should put in place tough laws on recruiters of external workers following mysterious deaths of young women taken to work as domestic workers in Arab countries.
“Government should not only collect tax from our Ugandans fleeing unemployment in country, let them follow up with the employers and also scrutinize contracts companies sign with them ,” Mr Kikabuzi said.
Ms Justine Nakalema, the mother of the deceased said she is now at peace because her daughter will get a decent burial.
“I have been worried since I got news of the death of my daughter because I hear many bodies are buried there [Saudi Arabia ] , now that her body is here, my heart is settled,” she said.
Zawedde joins a growing list of Ugandans who have lost their lives in some of the Middle East countries, where they had sought jobs. Some activists blame the government for withdrawing the licenses of some recruitment agencies, without a clear plan of monitoring workers still employed abroad.