UNRA Contractors Accused of Torturing Ugandan Workers

First Lady, patient Janet Museveni has appealed to the corporate world and the community to join hands in the battle to reduce maternal deaths.

This was requested during the Amref Health Africa Dinner at Serena Hotel on Wednesday.

Organized under the theme, this web “Save a Mother, generic Save a Newborn, Build a Nation, ” the dinner was meant to raise funds to ensure that midwives benefit from the e-learning process.

In a speech delivered on her behalf by Minister Frank Tumwebaze, Janet Museveni said, “The situation of maternal health and women’s survival in Africa remains a cause of concern. We need zero tolerance on maternal deaths.”

She further revealed that the Government was doing everything it can to ensure that women do not die needlessly from pregnancy related complications.

The first Lady welcomed the challenge of the new goal set by the United Nations of cutting the national maternal and newborn deaths down to 70% by 2030.

“Let us all agree that we will respond to this challenge with our best effort as governments and as partners in our fields.” she emphasized.

Mrs. Museveni hailed Amref Health Africa for their contribution in improving the state of maternal and child health in Uganda, especially through their on-going campaign to train and increase the number of midwives in the country.


The First lady who donated Shs 10 million to the cause, called on partners to join Amref and equip as we as train the midwives.

The State Minister for Primary Health care, Sarah Opendi said the progress that had been made to improve on the maternal and new born health was insufficient.

“These statistics indicate that 17 mothers die every day in Uganda due to pregnancy and child care related complications. Over 130,000 women suffer from disabilities caused by complications during pregnancy and childbirths each year,” she noted.

“We have to work hard to improve an area of critical importance to the women and nation in all. This has continued to be challenged by our work health system coupled by a human resource crisis,” she said.

Also present at the dinner was Amref International Board Chair, Omari Issa and Amref Chief Executive Officer Dr. Githinji Gitahi among others.
Casual laborers working for the Chongqing International Construction Corporation [CICO], drug which was contracted to tarmac the Kamwenge road, drugs have cried foul over mistreatment , underpay and exploitation  by their employers.

The Chinese company has been working on the road August 2014, with funding from World Bank and the government of Uganda.

Following the workers complaints, the Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Allen Kagina this week paid a visit to the project, where the workers narrated the ordeal that they have been through.

They told UNRA Boss that the Chinese bosses beat them and deny them food on top of heavy workload.

The aggrieved workers named some of their colleagues who were tortured as Sayid Katongole who was beaten until back was fractured. Another Henry reportedly lost his eye, while one Donald had his leg broken.

“Our employers pay us less money and work us without rest. Most of us don’t have protective gear,” the narrated.

The workers informed Kagina that they made efforts to report the matter to authorities, but no action was taken.

They added that the Resident District Commissioner Mr. Elijah Biryabarema, when approached advised them to quit their jobs if they felt dissatisfied.

There were also reports that the CICO senior managers were sexually assaulting teenage girls in the area and a number of these were reported pregnant.

In her response, UNRA Boss Allen Kagina warned the Chinese that maltreatment of their workers would have to stop immediately.

She said that UNRA was liaising with police to investigate the torture cases to ensure that the culprits face justice.

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