Abdallah Kayonde the Executive Director and President of Migrant Workers’ Voice Network Association has come out to refute allegations of conning migrant workers whose rights he defends.
Last week, a section of the media ran fake stories which have since circulated on social media quoting unknown sources to have revealed that the Police have commenced investigations against Kayonde allegations of fraud and conning unsuspecting migrant workers.
Speaking to this news site over the allegations, Kayonde said that he is not aware of any investigations against him neither has he received any summons for the relevant security agencies as claimed.
“I am not aware of any investigations against me, I am in touch with the relevant security organs over several cases including that of Judith Nakintu who lost her Kidney while working in Saudi Arabia. In case there were any investigations against me, I would be the first one to know about that,” Kayonde said.
Kayonde added that, “I am however not surprised with such blackmail against me, I have received several warnings that some players in the field of labour externalization are planning to damage my name and discredit the Migrant Workers’ Voice Network Association so that they can play dirty games with no one rising a figure against them, which move we shall not accept”.
Kayonde explained that the Migrant Workers’ Voice Network Association is a legally registered association under the laws of Uganda with the main objectives of defending the rights of migrant workers, solve disputes amicably amongst migrant workers, employers and recruitment agencies, offer legal advice and representation to migrant workers as well as acting as a pressure group to voice out violation of the rights of migrants by any authorities.
The ED noted that Migrant Workers’ Voice is not a labour recruitment company to promise Ugandans job placements as alleged but it’s a membership association were members subscribe and as such pay a subscription fee that is receipted.
“We don’t blame our attackers and violators of rights of migrant workers for mistaking the existence of the association and organization as being conmen; its because they are sure that those they export to the Gulf are slaves or perhaps goats or logs who can not talk and do not deserve any right to associate or liberties to collective bargaining and for that matter whoever comes out to voice for them becomes a conman,” Kayonde noted.
Kayonde observed that the particular invoice that was circulated in the media was issued to Tusano Combined Uganda Limited after the company director led the recruits to subscribe with the association and these people are working safely in Saudi Arabia.
“The members that appear in the invoice are our subscribed members and they were issued receipts and membership cards and we are in touch with them. All our members are not complaining but it’s the dirty players in the industry that are using blackmail to divert us,” Kayonde said.
Kayonde called on all the players in the industry to desist from blackmail but work towards bettering the sector and addressing the challenges faced by the Migrant Workers.