UNRA Cracks Whip on Illegal Chinese Immigrants; Over 30 Arrested

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) together with the directorate of citizenship and immigration control in the Internal Affairs ministry on Thursday carried out an operation in which 37 illegal Chinese immigrants were arrested in Mayuge district.

The impromptu operation targeted employees of China Railway Eighteenth group, hospital the company contracted to construct the 104km Musita-Lumiino- Busia –Majanji highway that will link Uganda to Kenya through the Busia border point.

On Thursday when the UNRA and immigration officers hit the ground, troche only a handful of the workers of the Chinese company had working permits leading to the arrest of the 37.

On seeing the officials from immigration and UNRA, order some Chinese took off and hid in the nearby bushes as the operation for working permits intensified .

Speaking to ChimpReports, John Bosco Ssejemba, the head of enforcement in UNRA said that on many occasions, people not legalized to work in Uganda end up working and messing up road projects given to various contractors.

“Many of them come as visitors or tourists but end up working on the various road projects yet they are not allowed to do so,” Ssejemba said.

“We end up getting performance issues on the side of the contractors plus noncompliance to the terms of the contract.”

The arrested were found without work permits
The arrested were found without work permits

This website has learnt that only 12% of the 104 km project has been accomplished with only 9 months left to the end of the agreed time between UNRA and the contractor .


“At this pace, not even 50% of the road will be complete by the end of the agreed time, 9 months to come,” said one official from UNRA.

He said that issues like  use of foreign workers without permits partly contributes to the noncompliance on the side of the contractor.

The head of inspection and investigations in the directorate of citizenship and immigration control Simon Mundeyi said the 37 Chinese arrested would be screened to find out their status in the country.

“We shall be investigating them to get to know the kind of visas that they possess and see what we can do for them,” Mundeyi noted.

“Those who will be found not meeting the standards of having working permits  and have never applied for them will then be deported.”


He added that those without permits will be prosecuted in courts of law and on conviction, they will be declared prohibited immigrants and will have to leave the country with immediate effect.

According to the head of inspections and investigations in the directorate of citizenship and immigration control, over 6652 foreigners from various countries have been  arrested    since 2011 and 1936 of these  have   since been deported to their home countries.

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