By: Fahim Muyingo
Kyadondo East Member of Parliament (MP) Muwada Nkunyingi, who also doubles as the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, has condemned the deliberate neglect by the government to support and repatriate the detained and stranded Uganda nationals in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He said this while objecting to the statement from the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Betty Amongi delivered on 8th September 2022 highlighting the government’s plan with the UAE government to repatriate illegal and legal Ugandans.
According to Nkunyingi, the gender minister Betty Amongi has not visited Al Awir prison or produced a Diplomatic Note from UAE authorities substantiating her erroneous and misinformed media claim.
He explains in a statement that under diplomacy, Foreign Governments like UAE only communicate through the Diplomatic Mission and Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Nkunyingi noted that the gender minister lacks focus and facts, and he challenged her to table a written or verbal note to that effect.
In a statement released yesterday, minister Amongi said about 452 Ugandans had registered at Al Awir immigration centre for repatriation; however, none of these had gone through the right procedure while flying to UAE.
Regardless, Nkunyingi disagreed, saying the figure related to the few in Al Awir prison was at the time of detention in possession of Uganda passports.
He continues in his statement that the thousands of runaway maids, girls and young boys whose passports were confiscated by labor agents are still classified as stateless.
Hence they cannot either afford the cost of emergency travel documents that would in alternative clarify them as Ugandans.
The said travel documents cost approximately Shs250,000 from Uganda Embassy a fee many can’t afford.
Nkunyingi demanded urgent measures by the government to assist in the secure release & safe return of the thousands detained in Al Awir prison & for those stranded on UAE streets.
He argued that the ministry of internal affairs and finance should waive the relevant feet to enable the detained poor Ugandans to access emergency travel documents.