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Over 75000 Ugandans staying in UAE illegally, says gov’t

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has said that over 75000 Ugandans are staying in United Arab Emirates illegally.

 The ministry of internal spokesperson, Simon Mundeyi

There are over 100,000 Ugandans living in UAE and of these, only 25000 went through licensed recruitment agencies. We have over 75000 Ugandans who were taken to UAE to secure employment but through fraudulent companies that are only looking for money. These are in UAE fraudulently and illegally,” the ministry spokesperson, Simon Mundeyi said.

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He added that most of the 75000 persons are either taken to Middle East by non-registered companies or went on their own.

Mundeyi said many of the latter are found on the wrong side of the law in UAE for not having updated work visas.

Majority travel on their own accord and decide to look for odd jobs whereas others were trafficked by unscrupulous labour agents who promise them good jobs only to reach there and engaged in odd jobs without work visas. Their passports are retained and subjected to abuse due circumstances beyond their control.”

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“Once they reach UAE they report to their agents who keep them in some dormitories or hostels also known as Biyumba. Once they start living there, agents start taking them out to do some odd jobs including prostitution and money that accrues is paid to agents.”

Recently, Mundeyi added, the UAE government accepted to issue a waiver to 1500 Ugandan immigrants who were living in the country illegally.

He explained that this was as a result of negotiations between the Ugandan and UAE governments, with some of the said Ugandans being helped home.

This return is due to coordination efforts by government through ministries of gender, Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Finance as well as government of UAE. The over 160 who returned over the weekend are part of the 1500 who are set to benefit from the waiver.”

According to Mundeyi, if any foreigner is found illegally in any country, they are fined before being deported.

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“There are those who are still staying illegally in UAE but once the grace period of one-month elapses after October, they will be fined and later returned home.”

He however urged all Ugandans who hope to work in the Middle East to go through licenced labour recruitment companies to avoid any untoward consequences.

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