Press Statement On Allegations Made By Hon. Nabooze Betty About Marphie International Recruitment Company On 6th July 2019

Hon. Nambooze in her Facebook write up states that;

  1. Dozens of girls who were trafficked to the Arab world as slaves were returned to meet their relatives aboard “Air Dubai” (Fly Dubai) that touched down on 5th July 2019.
  2. That the girls were in wheelchairs with broken limbs, bruised faces, sick and some were dead and can’t be traced.
  3. A one Doreen Magezi who was returned on this same day and same flight who had been externalized by Marphie International to work in Jordan, had been placed on a stall and sold to the highest bidder at $ 3,000 where she was subject to sub-human treatment.
  4. Doreen Magezi was arrested at Entebbe Airport on her arrival and put at Gun-point by a police lady so that she can record a statement on why she contacted Hon. Nambooze.

The facts are;

  • Marphie International Recruitment agency is a licenced recruitment company registered on 14th July 2017 by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and social Development under license number 143.
  • That Doreen Magezi was truly placed to work in Jordan to a fully licensed employment firm called AlBasha Company a member of Recruitment Agencies Association (R.A.A) in Jordan by Marphie International Recruitment Agency on 3rd April 2019.

This was done as per the set procedures of external recruitment by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, where the Job order from Albasha Company was approved by the same ministry. Doreen Magezi went through vetting and a clearance was issued. Mandatory Pre-departure training was carried out as per the regulations and the candidate passed. Final medical for issuance of visa was carried out at CITY Medicals in Bukoto and was found fit. An employment contract that clearly shows her job description and whose home she is to work was given to her while in Uganda and she signed

  • As it is the custom of the company and indeed as regulations demand, the company has been in touch with Doreen eversince she got deployed. This kind of monitoring is done for all workers recruited officially through registered companies here in Uganda.
  • Mid-last month (June 2019), Ms Doreen Magezi informed Marphie International Recruitment Agency’s operations desk of how she was not feeling well. They closely monitored her situation through their agents until she made a decision that she couldn’t work anymore.
  • Marphie International Recruitment Agency arranged for her travel back where they even paid her air ticket to Entebbe.
  • On the return date, Marphie International company officials and the counselor from UAERA were at the airport to specifically receive and offer medical assistance to Doreen. The interest was to work with her for a further medical assessment since it’s their responsibility as the company that recruited.
  • However, this wasn’t possible since Doreen and her relatives preferred to leave after she recorded a statement with Police. As per her choice, she was handed over to her family.
  • The involvement of the police was purely to document any concerns that Doreen could have had, and this is normal procedure for returning workers. It also involves counselling and medical checkup at Victoria hospital, which is the designated health facility.
  • As an Association, we find the circulating claims very unfortunate because they are laced with a lot of fiction and propaganda.
  • The labelling of externalization of labour as slave trade is totally uninformed since over 27,000 licensed workers are currently deployed in Jordan alone and Saudi Arabia has 45,000, and they all continue to carry out their work with no complaints. Where issues arise, those are addressed through the recruitment firms. 
  • The registration and licensing of companies through which individuals can find employment abroad is a Government of Uganda Programme intended to manage the safe and monitored employment of Ugandan citizens.
  • You will be shocked to learn that in countries where government has never licensed deployments, we have over 52,000 workers. These are all cases of trafficked Ugandans or leaving on their own since no licensed company recruits workers for those destinations.
  • It therefore serves in the best interest of Ugandans that recruitment is only done through registered licensed recruitment firms.
  • Lastly we call for continued dialogue about the emerging issues with the intention of developing an industry like this one making a huge contribution to the unemployment problem in the country.
  • To-date we have $1.4 billion remitted back to the country by migrant workers, half of that about $600 million from the Middle East alone.
  • Its therefore a sector we need to nurture as a country for alternative employment and national development.

                            ANDREW T. KAMERAHO


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