KAMPALA – A section of lawmakers calls for a thorough investigation into the $70M (about UGX600M) charged on each migrant labour worker after reports that the money is being transferred on a personal account.
The MPs led by Mwine Mpaka, Youth MP (Western Region), David Abala (Ngora County), John Baptist Nambeshe (Majiya County) who said the money has been wired to a personal account of Yasin Abdlatiff Musoke who is using the money to purchase suits, shoes and perfume yet the money is meant to monitor migrant workers in their new postings abroad.
Mpaka said that there is need for Parliament to institute an inquiry into the status of the Uganda Association of External Development Agencies Development Fund, the Fund that was set up in order to lift the ban external labour exportation on March 2017. This Fund is charged through labour export companies, so every Ugandans going abroad is supposed to pay $70M.
“However, we have discovered that this money is channeled to a labour liaison officer in our embassy Riyadh and put on his personal account. If each of the 185 registered companies takes 50 Ugandans abroad, and each Ugandan pays $70M, we are looking at a tune of about UGX30bn per year. We Parliament to set up a committee into the status of this fund, under what legal framework was this Fund set up, how is this money being used?
Flashing copies of Musoke’s purported bank statement, Mpaka said the detailed indicate that he is misusing this money, “He is buying things duty-free, Kampala to withdraw. According to his bank statement, in a period of six months, he has received UGX668M, this is much more than budget the embassy has.”
Abala wondered why money that is meant for public use found its way to Musoke’s personal account, “When you talk about migrant labour, we are talking about human beings. He opened account in Stanbic bank in Uganda not Riyadh. This money was meant for monitoring labour force and when the labour workers get into problems, this money should help them, but it has been mismanaged. Why should this money be put in an individual account if it is public money?
Nambeshe described the $70M charge on each migrant labourer as a form of extortion orchestrated by officials at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
He said, “This is broad day robbery, we are wondering which legal framework they’re basing on. This is illegal. We have been hearing mafias in government little did I know many are in the Ministry of Gender. This money would be in consolidated fund. It’s an illegal fund on migrant labourers.”
It was further revealed that Musoke who was appointed to his post on 1st May 2018 earns a monthly salary of UGX6M and his contract entitles him to a gratuity every two years, an entitlement the MPs want to be investigated yet many public officials are languishing without their gratuity, despite serving the country for decades.