What you need to know:
- Caroline Kyomuhangi’s is said to have died on June 24 while on duty in Saudi Arabia where she working as a house help. However, her family says the Saudi Arabia embassy officials, together with the government of Uganda, have not yet come out to explain the cause of her death and plans to repatriate the body.
The family of a migrant worker said to have died in Saudi Arabia staged a demonstration at the country’s embassy in Kampala yesterday demanding a clear report on hers and other migrant workers’ death abroad.
Caroline Kyomuhangi’s is said to have died on June 24 while on duty in Saudi Arabia where she working as a house help. However, her family says the Saudi Arabia embassy officials, together with the government of Uganda, have not yet come out to explain the cause of her death and plans to repatriate the body.
Kyomuhangi’s husband, Mr Edson Tugume, said the deceased left Uganda in December 2021 through an external labour recruiting company and she was placed in a certain family as a house maid. However, after about six months, Kyomuhangi reportedly started complaining of physical abuse at the hands of her employer.
“Kyomuhangi started complaining about the abuse she was going through and she requested for a transfer but all in vain until her death,” he said.
Mr Tugume added that ever since they got the news of his wife’s death, they have not yet got information from the labour company or the government on the repatriation of the body.
Ms Sharon Kemigisha from Torture Survivors Movement UG said as activists, they want the government to come out with a report on the death of several migrant workers who die from abroad.
“In a period of one month, we have lost five migrant workers and we are worried about these deaths because majority are girls. We want to put an end to this torture and killings,” she said.
A senior official from the Saudi embassy said they were not in position to react to the demonstration as they were still investigating the incident.
Speaking to the media after breaking up the demonstration, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango, said the demonstration was illegal.
“The group, using the family of a migrant worker, who died in Saudi Arabia under unclear circumstances, carried [an empty] coffin to the embassy protesting the delay in bringing back the body of the deceased,” he said.
He added that in line with police mandate of keeping law and order, they had to break up the protest. He said they arrested one suspect and took the coffin as exhibit.
“The suspect is being detained at Kira Road Police Station and he will be charged with inciting violence. We appeal to members of the public to follow the law in regard to demonstrating at any embassy,” he said.
Last week, women leaders raised alarm over the continued abuse of migrant workers, especially women and asked the government to regulate external labour recruiting companies.
Parliament’s Committee on Gender also had an engagement with officials from Equal Opportunity Commission on how to protect migrant workers.