A minister in president Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government has left supporters of People Power pressure group, National Unity Platform (NUP) and their leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine after she watered down efforts by the former presidential candidate to repatriate Ugandans stuck in the Middle East cities such as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates UAE.
In recent weeks, Bobi Wine has led a fundraising drive to help return Ugandans stuck on kyeyo in the Middle East after it emerged that some were sleeping on the streets of Dubai while more others had been thrown in detention facilities across the UAE. Those at the heart of NUP’s efforts to repatriate Ugandans stranded on kyeyo include Kyadondo East MP Muwada Nkunyingi.
Muwada accuses the government of failing to help return those stuck in Dubai and elsewhere in the Middle East, and of looking on as people, some of them reportedly flown abroad by labour export companies licensed by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGSLD), continue to suffer in detention centres. He accused labour export firms of promising Ugandan youths juicy jobs abroad only for the young people to be shocked that there no such opportunities.
“The Ugandan government should be ashamed that they couldn’t repatriate our Ugandans from UAE. It’s the UAE doing the most. Why aren’t these Ugandans flying back with Uganda Airlines? There are up to 3,000 Ugandans in UAE prisons. People have been imprisoned according to their nationalities,” MP Muwada told NBS Barometer on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.
But Ibrahim Karim Bogere, the Vice Chairman of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), noted that over 1,500 Ugandans have been brought back to the country. Bogere added: “I want to assure you that all the 1,521 Ugandans who have been repatriated back had gone on their own. There is no authorized company that took them abroad. When there are jobs abroad, these jobs are announced through the embassies, and authorized companies get these jobs for Ugandans.”
State Minister in charge of Gender and Culture Affairs Regis Peace Mutuuzo called on Ugandans to always go through licensed labour export companies so that they do not fall in the hands of bafere who traffic them into suffering in the UAE and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Minister Mutuuzo, who is also the Bunyangabu District Woman MP, further poured called water on Bobi Wine’s efforts to repatriate Ugandans, suggesting that the singer and politician was simply looking for cheap popularity. Mutuuzo wondered why Bobi Wine was raising funds for repatriation, a task she said was already being done by the Museveni government.
“There are no people NUP has repatriated from UAE, government had already cleared their travel documents. We had an amnesty, which ends this month, but we have repatriated all the Ugandans that have been in detention centres,” Mutuuzo said during NBS Barometer show. “I am wondering what these people are fundraising for. The plans to repatriate Ugandans from UAE is a government program. The opposition stole the show, but the government has been in talks with UAE to repatriate Ugandans.”
She added that by the time NUP started repatriating Ugandans from UAE, the government had already cleared 400 travel documents for Ugandans. According to the minister, Bobi Wine only managed to repatriate and parade nine Ugandans. But the number of Ugandans brought back into the country through NUP’s and Bobi Wine’s efforts is higher than nine.
Recently, Bobi Wine accused security operatives of grilling Dubai returnees for many hours at the Entebbe International Airport before driving them in drone cars to their respective taxi parks and ordering them to go to their home districts and never to visit Bobi Wine’s Magere home and Kamwokya NUP office or be ready for consequences. (See Details Here).
You can also read about how Bobi Wine’s Dubai charity concert that was meant to raise funds for the return of Ugandans stuck on kyeyo in the Middle East was blocked and how Bobi Wine Museveni’s son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba over the issue of house girls working abroad Here.
This is not the first time a Museveni minister is accusing Bobi Wine of seeking cheap popularity through NUP’s acts of charity. Months ago, Minister Agness Nandutu blasted Bobi Wine for seeking cheap popularity by sending food to hunger-stricken Karamoja. (Read Story Here).