What you need to know:
- The development comes amid the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) campaign to return home Ugandans who are stranded in the United Arab Emirates.
- Statistics from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development indicate that at least 28,000 Ugandans seek household jobs in the Middle East annually due to poverty, unemployment, domestic violence and family breakdown, inter alia.
At least 68 Ugandans who had been stranded in Dubai where they travelled for greener pastures have arrived at Entebbe international airport, government officials said Saturday, adding that 88 more are expected to arrive later.
The group, which is the first batch to be repatriated by government, arrived at the airport this afternoon.
The Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development communications officer, Mr Frank Mugabi, told journalists that from Entebbe airport, the returnees will be transported to Kampala, where each will pick transport means to their respective homes.
“Each of the returnees will foot their own [transport] bill. We will keep you posted as soon as another group arrives,” he said.
Two of the returnees who talked to this publication on condition of anonymity said they travelled to Dubai through an agent.
The development comes amid the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) campaign to return home Ugandans who are stranded in the United Arab Emirates.
Early this week, NUP officials said they had so far returned 42 Ugandans.
“To all fellow Ugandans, this is not political like some people want to paint it. You too can help our people either through us or through anybody else. The objective is to ensure that we put an end to the suffering of so many Ugandans out there,” NUP leader, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine said yesterday after receiving Shs3.4 million from singer Diana Hajara Namukwaya popularly known as Spice Diana to support the cause.
Last month, Ms Betty Amongi—the Gender and Labour minister—said none of the 452 Ugandans who were at the time being held at the Al Awir Immigration Centre for assessment and eventual repatriation to Uganda “traveled through a recruitment company.”
An August 2022 report authored by the Uganda Mission in Abu Dhabi indicated that most Ugandans in distress in the UAE travel through informal channels.
Ugandans in the Middle East
On April 20, this publication reported that on a daily basis, approximately 300 Ugandans travel to the Gulf States. We revealed that many of them get employed in casual jobs. These jobs earn them anywhere between $200 (Shs760,000) and $500 (Shs1.9m) per month.
According to data from the United Nations, more than 620,000 Ugandans live outside the country and are employed within East Africa, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East, among others.
Statistics from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development indicate that at least 28,000 Ugandans seek household jobs in the Middle East annually due to poverty, unemployment, domestic violence and family breakdown, inter alia.
According to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) 2021 report, 28 Ugandan migrant workers—the majority of whom are women—died in different countries in the Middle East where they were serving as domestic workers.