More than 50 Ugandans dead in Middle East trafficked as modern slaves
In the last few years, a number of companies have sprung up in Uganda claiming that they are offering good employment opportunities for Ugandans in the Middle East. Considering the high unemployment rate in the country, many jobless Ugandans, especially the youth, have been attracted to the opportunities offered.
However, reports of inhumane treatment have continued to filter back and there is no end in sight. Some of the job seekers have been tortured, raped, drowned, burnt, and beheaded, etc.
According to a watchdog report, more than 50 Ugandans working as maids, guards and drivers have died this year alone, 34 of whom reportedly committed suicide.
Ugandans, let us wake up and stop this. There are all signs that some people in government are profiteering from this and do not expect any positive and concrete stand on this matter. The victims have sent SOS messages through video recordings, voice and other social media platforms to alert government of their predicament. Which government should people run to if not their own? Besides, how many of our citizens must die before we wake up? For now, we think it is all about torture or suicide, nut how about if such killings are part of human organ trading.
Uganda is hosting thousands of refugees from many countries (anyone is a potential refugee), but we should remember the number of Ugandans killed, tortured or languishing in prisons, including in South Sudan. What action has the government taken to address the worrying trend? The manner in which government treats the issue of our citizens outside the country leaves a lot to be desired. Why should we preach patriotism if we are not protected as citizens? There is no reason to claim achievements in participation in foreign conflicts when citizens’ interests are not given a priority.
Uganda is a beautiful country with a very good climate and the people are friendly. Therefore, given the right economic, political and social environment, Uganda would be a better place for citizens to live and die.
What the country needs now is to cultivate the will to fight corruption, create employment, provide healthcare, promote political tolerance and provide enabling environment for citizens to utilise their potential.