By Mariam Namakula
Kyadondo East Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Muwada Nkunyingi has appealed to Parliament to address the surging numbers of Ugandan immigrants who are suffering abroad.
In a July 1 letter addressed to Parliament, Mr Nkunyingi said the continued silence and neglect of the Ugandans by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urgently needs intervention.
He said Parliament needs to constitute the Foreign Affairs Committee or an Adhoc Committee to address grievances of Ugandan communities in diaspora.
“I draw your special attention to the fate of Uganda nationals in the gulf region. Hundreds of them have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates in the last two weeks without charge,” the letter reads in part.
Mr Nkunyingi added that the Uganda mission in the United Arab Emirates had not bothered to assist or establish the fate of its nationals, adding that the majority of Uganda’s diplomats were absent from foreign missions and consulates, while a number of them were closed.
The legislator also noted that recent cancellation and suspension of the labour recruitment agencies has also left many Ugandan nationals stranded in the United Arab Emirates and the gulf region.
Mr Nkunyingi said the companies had confiscated the passports and travel documents of many Ugandan nationals in the United Arab Emirates and upon arrival.
“They abruptly closed up offices in these countries and in Uganda, our nationals could not trace these companies to claim for their passports and other travel and financial details,” the statement added.
The MP said this had made many Ugandans illegal immigrants due to lack of identification.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs more than 2,100 Ugandans applied for passports on a daily basis before the Covid-19 pandemic.