Museveni directs Sheikh Guggwa to broker new bilateral labour export deal with Saudi Arabia

KAMPALA — President Museveni has directed Sheikh Sulaiman Guggwa the new Deputy Ambassador at Uganda’s Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to broker a new

bilateral labour export deal between Kampala and Riyadh.

Ugandan government had recently suspended a bilateral labour export agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over complaints of alleged continued mistreatment and torture of Ugandan migrant workers.

In 2017, the Ugandan government entered into a five-year labour agreement with Saudi Arabia aimed at promoting the welfare and rights of migrant workers.

This website has learnt that Shiek Guggwa will be leaving to Riyadh with instructions to pull off the deal.

Sheikh Guggwa, a renowned Museveni fanatic on Friday January 20, met with the leadership of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) in Katalemwa where he vowed to break a leg for the plight of Ugandan workers in the Gulf State nation.

Speaking to UAERA members, Guggwa urged external labour recruitment companies to ensure that licensing conditions are strictly adhered to—promising the embassy would work to support all players within the labour sector.

The Friday meeting held at Kauther Training Centre in Katalemwa was attended by UAERA Deputy Chairman Hajji Ibrahim Bogere and Hajji Hassan Mugoya, the founder of Kauther Training Centre and Proprietor of Ham property management opposite old Kampala Primary School.

UAERA leaders confirmed the Katalemwa meeting and said key areas of cooperation were discussed.

According to the MoGLSD, between 2019 and February, 2020, more than 70 per cent of migrant workers travelled predominantly to Saudi Arabia and UAE respectively.

The Middle East provides opportunities for several categories of employees, including drivers, domestic workers, factory workers, security, sex workers among other areas.

Statistics from the ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development show that Saudi Arabia is the biggest labour externalization destination in the Middle East with over 150,000 Ugandans migrant workers.

However, there have been persistent complaints about the torture of Ugandan labourers, confiscation of their travel documents such as passports, denial of leave and return permits, and non-payment among others.

UAERA profiles attractive monthly remunerations for domestic workers in Saudi Arabia ranging from $225 to $500 (with the provision of accommodation and meals).

Factory workers on average earn between $350 and $700 in Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia; and those engaged in catering, earn $350-$600 in Qatar and UAE.

Security guards make between £300 to $900, and in high-risk states such as Iraq and Afghanistan, $500- $1,000 per month.

Data from Bank of Uganda shows that Uganda has tremendously benefited from remittances from the Middle East, which increased from $51.4m in 2010 to $389m by 2020.

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