Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it has introduced a new policy requiring all companies involved in labor exports to pay for transportation costs of those stranded or those being mistreated abroad.
Head of the diaspora department at the ministry Patrick Muganda Guma said that the decision to have this policy followed complaints by many abroad that they are mistreated. He said a mechanism had also been put in place to ensure investments by Ugandans in the diaspora are protected.
He told journalists of the new developments at a Uganda Media center brief at which dates for the 3rd Annual Ugandan Diaspora Business Breakfast on December 29 and 6th Social Networking Gala December 30 were announced.
Guma said that at the moment there are at least 11 Ugandans stranded in Riyad-Saudi Arabia having escaped from their employers due to mistreatment.
“As we talk now, in our Embassy in Riyad, we have quite a number of Ugandans who are stranded because their passports were confiscated by those who took them,”said Guma.
He indicated that the government has now decided that all companies involved in labor exportation will be required to intervene in such situations under the directive of government
He further noted that the ministry has also set up a mechanism to help Ugandans in the Diaspora to avoid being duped when they want to make investments back home.
Guma says that many have lost millions of shillings by contracting unscrupulous people to purchase land or houses for them but under the new arrangement, the ministry will help them to make genuine transactions
Ugandans in Diaspora ask for IDs
For their part, Ugandans in the diaspora urged government to expedite the process of granting them National Identification (ID) cards so that they can not only vote in future elections but to also make their business transactions much easier.
At the time of registration for national IDs Government said a special arrangement would be made to register Ugandans in the Diaspora so they can vote in future elections.
It’s however not clear when this will happen and according to Ronnie Mayanja one of the coordinators of the annual Home is Best Diaspora Summit, many Ugandans in the Diaspora want the matter expedited
He was addressing journalists at the media centre ahead of this year’s summit to be held on the 21st of this month at Hotel Africana.
Mayanja also said that the Ugandans also want the dual citizenship act amended so that their children born outside Uganda can have the right to inherit property or investments back home even before attaining the age of 18 when they can apply for citizenship.