Migrant Workers Should Only Renew Their Contracts After Involving Their Recruitment Companies -UAERA
Commenting on the brutal circumstances that led to the death of Milly Namazzi, a 26-year-old woman that died after she had gone to work domestically in Saudi Arabia, the Spokesperson of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies has said that the deceased must have illegally renewed her working contract on an individual basis.
He made the remarks on The Fatboy Show during an interview with Fatboy and Olive where he explained that the terms of agreement with labor export companies in Uganda warns domestic workers against re-contracting work agreements without the knowledge of their recruitment companies.
“When a person is leaving here, a contract is signed by four parties; the employee, the employer, the company here and that receiving you from the other country. The contract is very specific on details of work, salary and employer and that is why during orientation, they are always advised to come back to Uganda and renew their contracts from here,” he explained.
He added that receipts from Namazzi’s recruitment company indicated that return tickets worth $4000 were issued and sent to her after the expiration of her contract in the Middle East, citing that she might have opted to stay because of the good relations she had with her bosses.
“We suspect that after her contract expired, she opted to renew it on an individual basis without involving her recruitment company, the foreign company, or our government, which is wrong. Many other people do it although it’s illegal. We suspect that is what might have happened and she might have got convinced by the family and decided to stay.”
Mukundane went on to dismiss reports from the media which said that the postmortem results from Mulago Hospital showed that Namazzi’s body had been dismembered with parts like her genitals and kidneys missing.
According to the UAERA spokesperson, the claims are false and nothing has yet been released by Mulago Hospital. He challenged anyone who has seen the results to produce and present these documents because ever since the repatriation of the body, the only report known is from Cairo where the deceased died from.
Fatboy then asked him which standard working conditions were in place for Ugandans to prevent future similar events.
Mukundane then responded by saying Ugandans should only travel through licensed companies to maintain communication with their relatives, “In case you get into trouble, your family knows which company took you and the government through its embassy in the foreign country will task the forensics company to find out if you are fine. Of course there are also amenities supposed to be given to you such that through your phone, you're able to communicate with your family incase of trouble,” he answered.
He added, “A number of people die from countries such as Oman and the family members suffer to collect money for repatriation of their bodies because of going through unlicensed companies.”
When Olive questioned Mukundane on whether Namazzi’s former employer will be held accountable for the death of Namazzi, he replied, “We have a bilateral agreement between Uganda and Saudi Arabia. I believe the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take this up to establish how she left Saudi Arabia where she was working to get to Egypt. I am also sure that due to the diplomatic relationship we have with Saudi Arabia, we will have the questions answered and solutions formulated,” he said.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.