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Uganda: MPs to Investigate Labour Export Companies

Kampala, Uganda — The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has tasked the Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development, to work with the line ministry to investigate companies involved in the export of labour to the Middle East.

This follows the rampant and unclear deaths of many casual labourers, especially girls working in the Middle East.

The Woman MP for Kayunga District, Idah Nantaba, presented a petition to Parliament on 09 November 2022 concerning the repatriation of the remains of Lydia Ayila, her constituent who died in Saudi Arabia.

Nantaba said that the family of the deceased was distressed because they were in the dark about the cause of death of their loved one and that they would not have the opportunity to bury her back home.

Speaker Among then directed the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to compel the company which hired the late Ayila to foot the repatriation expenses.

Nantaba, however, noted that the ministry had only managed to pay US$1,000 out of the US$3,400 repatriation costs and that the authorities in Saudi Arabia would proceed with burying the deceased if the repatriation costs were not paid by Thursday, 24 November 2022.

When Nantaba, accompanied by the late Ayila’s mother, raised the matter of the US$2,400 balance in a meeting with the Speaker before commencement of the plenary, she [Speaker] promptly mobilised and the money was remitted to save the deceased from being interred in Saudi Arabia.

During the plenary, the Speaker proposed that the ministry ensures that the companies involved in export of human labour meet such costs whenever the cases arise.