The Uganda Association for External Recruitment Agencies (UERA) has clarified that the visa ban exerted on Uganda by the United Arab Emirates does not affect migrant workers but those that want to travel for a visit to Dubai.
Yesterday, the UAE announced a visa ban on 20 countries including Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Congo, Burkinafaso, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) among others.
In an interview with Ronnie Mukundane, the spokesperson Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies, on The Fatboy Show, he rectified that the ban will not affect those that want to work in Dubai.
“This ban does not affect us in labor recruitment. It is a ban on one-month Visas usually used by people traveling on their own/ adventurers, hoping to get jobs when they reach Dubai,” Mukundane explained.
"The people we externalize travel on work visas, usually for two years, based on the employment contract. Therefore, it does not affect us in labor recruitment but Ugandans who travel on their own in search of jobs,” he added.
Dubai is a popular travel destination for people across the world including Africa. Uganda had over 10,000 estimated labour migrants in the country.
The move is to reduce the number of people, especially from Africa, illegally living in the country. Many people travel on 30-day visas, masquerading as tourists and search for jobs. A lucky few get jobs, but the rest have visas that expire before finding any jobs. These resort to staying on the streets or carrying out illegal businesses hence the ban.
Ronnie Mukundane also believed that the ban happened as a blessing in disguise to clear the reputation of recruitment agencies that are usually blamed for the suffering of migrant workers working in the UAE.
“Not only will this tell people to travel through us, but also will reduce the perception that everyone that travels to the UAE, and suffers, is externalized through us. For instance, none of the people repatriated to Uganda went through us. Not only will this make people use right channels, but will also clear our name,” he emphasized.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.