KAMPALA. Government has promised to help 54 people, who were rescued in Kenya being trafficked to Oman, to get jobs in Middle East countries that have bi-literal relations with Uganda.
Kenyan immigration officers arrested 52 Ugandan women and two Ugandan men at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya, with forged stamps in their passports and deported them back to Uganda on Friday.
Yesterday, Mr Moses Binoga, the coordinator of the National Counter Human Trafficking Taskforce, said they will link the victims of trafficking to licensed labour recruitment agencies, who will find them employment in Middle East.
“Those who want to go to work in Middle East, we are going to help you connect you to other lawful companies. I know many of you want maid jobs,” Mr Binoga said as he received the victims at the Internal Affairs ministry headquarters.
The victims were being trafficked to Oman to work as maids. Illegal labour exporters prefer using Kenya because Uganda immigration officers at Entebbe International Airport block them.
The victims said they paid between Shs100,000 and Shs2m to the exporters, who contacted them through friends or relatives.
Most victims said their passports were confiscated while in Uganda and crossed to Kenya at the border on foot.
“When we reached Busia, we were told to get off the bus. They told us to hand over our bags to them and walk through the border. They said if immigration ask us where we are going, we should tell them that we are going to the market to buy clothes,” a female victim said.
Every Saturday in Busia Town, a free market on the Kenyan side is organised and Ugandan traders near the border are allowed to cross over and make transactions without following immigration procedures.
The victims said thereafter, they boarded again to Nairobi where they were kept in a dormitories before they were taken to the airport.
Mr Binoga said this time round, Ugandans intercepted in Kenya were not charged with immigration offences because there is an agreement signed mid this year between the two countries that they should be treated as victims rather than suspects.
He said investigations into the illegal traffickers are underway.