- February 1, 2021
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Stay And Die In Uganda: Ugandan Ambassador To Middle East Cancels Over 4000 Job Orders
Over 4000 Ugandan workers are currently stuck with their job applications to Saudi Arabia after the Ambassador Isaac Ssebulime canceled the job orders over lack of funding to Uganda’s embassy in the middle east.
Saudi Arabian labour companies had issued an order of 4000 Ugandans to work as maids, nurses, English teachers and warehouse workers among others which gave local labour recruitment companies in Uganda an opportunity to start the recruiting process before they learnt about the suspension.
Last month, Uganda’s Mission established that officials working at Uganda’s Embassy in Dubai, H.E the Ambassador inclusive, were living and feeding on the Almighty’s mercy after their Ministry of Internal Affairs turned deaf ears on their requests to their cash crisis cries.
Mr Ssebulime has since written to Ministry of Gender about the embassy’s inability to process the orders until government allocates money for the embassy.
Staff at embassy had indicated that they were abandoned and left to hustle for their survival.
According to Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) Chairman Baker Akantambira, who travelled to Saudi Arabia to assess the condition of migrant workers observed that the Embassy is in dire state and needs urgent government intervention.
UAERA is an association that brings together all legally registered labour externalization firms.
Akantambira noted that the Mission has accumulated rent arrears with no hope for renewal and other bills to pay that have been pending for a long time.
Medical bill accumulated and now the embassy has no credit facility not even health assurance.
He further noted that embassy staff had resorted to pulling their own personal resources to send critical cases to hospital adding that Migrant workers who rushed to the embassy for help have been sleeping outside for two weeks now.
”The job order processing system is down for lack of money to renew the licenses and servicing, If labour companies want job orders to be processed they must finance the embassy” Ssebulime noted adding that he has already written to Ministry of Gender to halt this business until government funds the embassy.
Through UAERA, labour companies in Uganda hard started contributing $300 to fund the Mission.
its worth noting that government of Uganda earns $1.4 billion from labour exporting business and Saudi Arabia remains one of the biggest markets for Ugandan migrant workers.
The embassy staff wondered why government of Uganda couldn’t use some of this money to fund the embassies.
Ministry of Finance late last year issued a notice warning all government bodies against making unnecessary expenditure because government had run out of cash.
A source at Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that Ministry of Finance halted funding of embassies.
“It is true government is not releasing funds until further notice. That is why most of our embassies are in cash crisis. However, our embassies have been making their own money. Why can’t government use this money to fund them?” the source said, asking not to be named fearing to be reprimanded.
This source further said that for the case of Saudi Arabia embassy, the Foreign Ministry is well aware of its deplorable condition but “can’t do anything.” adding that Uganda’s mission in Saudi Arabia oversees 5 countries in the Middle East.
“That embassy is overstretched but at the same time it is underfunded. So how do you expect the staff their to do work?” asked the source.