Crime & Investigation

Saudi Arabia Debacle: 7 Ugandan Girls Return Home

Africa premier club competitions; The Caf Champions League and Confederations Cup are taking centre stage this weekend with very exciting fixtures on card across the continent.

Vipers SC are out on duty to represent the country in Nigeria in the Champion’s League against Enyimba FC where the same old tales of a hostile away treatment are expected to keep reverberating in our ears.
But do they really have to undergo this?

“We expect anything away (Nigeria). You have seen how they acted when they arrived here from the training pitch to Hotels we offered them. They turned them down and I have heard media complaining the team refused to speak to anyone, hospital ” Vipers Captain Nicholas Wadada told media after their 1-0 first leg victory over Enyimba FC.

Paul Mukatabala speaks.
Several unfounded stories have been making rounds in the media claiming that no Ugandan club has ever picked a win from Nigerians.

“First it’s false that we (Ugandans) have never beaten Nigerians, ” Paul Mukatabala, an idolized Villa legend narrates to Chimp Sport.

“First there was Villa 91 in the Caf Champions league against Iwuanyuanwu Nationale in the semi finals. We won 3-2 in Kampala with Magid Musisi scoring twice then drew 1-1 in the return match in Owerri, Nigeria. Magid Musisi scored the equalizer deep in the 2nd half, heading in from a Sula Kato corner kick into the net.”

“The referee in that game in Nigeria was terrible, awarding Iwuanyuanwu two dubious penalties in the first 20 minutes. Goalkeeper, Mike Mukasa saved the first one and they scored from the second one. Worse was the match Commissioner from Ivory Coast who was drunk and slept throughout the game, ignoring our complaints. We battled through to reach our first (continental) final ever.”

“The Nigerians were devastated and couldn’t attend the party arranged by the Governor of Owerri State at his residence, after the match leaving us to enjoy the drinks and food.”


Hostile Away environment
Mukatabala commends Vipers for the 1st leg advantage but cautions the team management about complacency in off pitch affairs.

He says, “Vipers should go there prepared for anything especially after winning the 1st leg. They better carry some of their own food or enough money to buy what they need.”
1992 Albiola cup, now Caf Confederations Cup.
In 1992 SC Villa faced Shooting Stars from Imoh State, Nigeria in the final of the Caf Abiola Cup. The two played to a barren draw in Kampala. The return leg raised eyebrows in the kind of treatment SC Villa received away.

“In the return leg, we were thrashed 3-0. But this time the trick was in the food at our team hotel. Nigerians are known to love food with a lot of pepper and curry. Our Team Manager requested for food without pepper for our entire stay at the hotel. But to our surprise, despite constant reminders to the hotel management, this didn’t happen. If anything for all the 2 days before the game, the food had too much pepper, none of us could take it. We were left weak and hungry. On the match day, Shooting Stars took an early lead in the first half and we didn’t recover. Surprisingly after the match, we were served with the kind of food we had all along been requesting (no pepper & curry).”

The Ugandan champions are expected to travel out on Thursday night headed to Port Harcott where the game will be played on Saturday27. The aggregate winner of the tie will advance to the next stage.
The son of South Sudan founding father Dr. John Garang has finally jetted into the country for a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni over the stalled peace agreement implementation.

Mabior Garang de Mabior who is the national Chairman Committee of Information of the rebel movement SPLA- In Opposition under Dr. Riek Mchar, salve was supposed to travel to Uganda on Sunday but was stopped from leaving the Juba International Airport by the operatives from the National Security Service.

The son of Garang and a number of his colleagues were supposed to join their leader Dr. Machar who was travelling from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for a meeting with the Ugandan president on Monday.

Mabior exclusively told ChimpReports on phone on Monday early afternoon that he and his colleagues were intercepted and stopped at the airport without explanations.

A call from Kampala was likely made to Juba for the team to come to Uganda. In the evening of Monday Mabior and his colleagues landed at Entebbe Airport at 8:50pm.

The team travelled direct to Masindi district in Western Uganda where Museveni is carrying out presidential campaigns to retain his seat.

ChimpReports understand the meeting was delayed up to late in the night to wait for the team from Juba.

Immediately after his arrival, visit this Mabior communicated to this reporter and said they were travelling direct to Masindi to join their leader.

“I have just touched in Entebbe with my friends. We are travelling to Masindi straight away to join the Chairman (Machar) who is still there, ” Mabior said on phone after landing.

The son of Garang and his mum, Mrs Rebecca Nyandeng Garang who are powerful figures in the South Sudan politics disagreed with President Salva Kiir in mid-2013 when he sacked the whole government at the beginning of the ruling SPLM party crisis.

When a bloody civil war broke out months later in December the same year, Mabior and his mum joined the rebel movement of Machar and has been the national publicity of SPLA-IO since its inception.

Ms. Rebecca Nyandeng who maintained her opposition to Kiir`s government is however not in any active position in the rebel movement.

She was briefly among the delegates at the beginning of peace talks in Addis Ababa but later relocated to her home in Kenyan capital Nairobi.

She recently returned to Juba with members of the SPLA Former Detainees who spent about two years in exile in Kenya.
Seven Ugandan women have been facilitated to return home from a shelter jointly operated by the Saudi Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Social Affairs in Riyadh, here following intervention by the Ugandan Embassy in Riyadh, dosage Saudi Arabia.

This brought relief to affected families whose loved ones were stranded at the shelter due to failure to pay for their return air tickets home.

A total of 24 Ugandan women were found at the shelter. They arrived at Entebbe International Airport on Monday night.

The intervention was made by senior officials from the Embassy of Uganda in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, led by the Ambassador, H.E. Dr. Sheikh Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu and Mr Daniel Mulekezi.

This followed complaints from young women of Ugandan origin who called the Embassy seeking its intervention in a bid to get their freedom.

“We are in daily contact with them and efforts are underway to have the rest of the girls return home in the coming few days and we are working closely with Mr Pius Bigirimana – The PS, Ministry of Labor,” said the Ambassador.

The development comes at a time when the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Wilson Mukasa Muruli announced a ban on the recruitment and export of housemaids.

The shelter was set up to house migrant workers with pending issues, including those who abscond and run away from their employers, those who are stranded and cannot pay for their tickets home and illegal workers caught in sting operations by authorities in Saudi Arabia.

“We discovered that many of the young girls were brought to Saudi Arabia on promises that could not be met by those who recruited them. Others were young and travelled on falsified documents. On reaching Saudi Arabia, they couldn’t take on the work load and therefore refused to work. Most of the cases involved human trafficking,” said Ambassador Ssemuddu, following the meeting and in-depth interviews of the young women at the Shelter at the Weekend.

The Ambassador welcomed the measures taken by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, saying that it should help government to re-establish full control over the matter of labour export with respect to housemaids and other categories of domestic workers.

The Embassy has also received communication from the Ministry of Labour of Saudi Arabia, that the Ministry was planning to schedule a meeting with its counterpart in Uganda to discuss modalities for implementation of the bilateral agreement signed between the two trade partners last year.

While details of the plans have not been shared yet, it’s expected that the meeting would address how the two countries would work towards eradication of existing problems and challenges in the labour export value chain.

Meanwhile the Embassy of Uganda in Saudi Arabia said it was working closely with Samaoc Holdings Limited, a company contracted by the government of Uganda to monitor and oversee Ugandan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.

Officials said the company has started operation in Uganda and is currently in the process of establishing working relations with all licensed labour export companies through activation of their access to the new recruitment and monitoring platform.

Ambassador Ssemuddu said the internet-based system is designed to ensure that only licensed companies will have access to the Saudi market, and that they would in turn deal with only licensed companies in Saudi Arabia through a password-protected secure access.

Officials said Tuesday the platform will be integrated with the External Employment Management Information System (EEMIS) of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development later this year.

The Ambassador said in his office in Riyadh today: “Our people should remain calm because we have known all the problems and their sources and we are going to deal with them. We have discovered that a big number of our girls is being recruited by Kenyan recruitment Companies to Oman.”

“By working with all the stakeholders amongst government ministries and departments. Our people will be linked to decent employers through equally decent processes following the law. When we do this, we shall not have any serious problems but only some challenges”.

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