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Unwrapping The Domestic Workers Business; Opportunities, Challenges & Solutions

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By Amon Baita

A domestic worker (call it housemaid) earns an average of Shs100, 000 per month in Uganda. This means that the person earns a paltry Shs1.2m in a year despite the many needs to spend on.

On the contrary, the same worker in the Middle East countries earns an average of Shs900, 000 per month, implying that the person will bag about Shs10.8m (Ten million two hundred thousand shillings) in a year.

The wage disparity between the two countries is quite huge.

But a worker in the Middle East is entitled to other benefits as provided under the law that include free accommodation, free food, medical insurance and bonuses. When these benefits are converted into monetary terms, it’s clear the employer in Middle East countries spends so much on a domestic worker compared to Uganda.

The availability of opportunities to work as a domestic worker in Middle East countries has transformed lives of many Ugandans who had no hope of getting out of their miserable poor conditions.

They are now able to save, invest in businesses and acquire property.

Many of these are not so much educated; you just need to communicate in English and ready to work to get the job.

Factors pushing Ugandans to go work as domestic workers include poverty of the households, early pregnancies and broken families.

Domestic workers are approximately 30% of all migrant employees in the Middle East.

Uganda association for External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) is doing a great job to ensure domestic workers from Uganda are treated well and work under better conditions.

UAERA’s cardinal objective is to keep/ get these youths off the streets, train and put them into productive employment through which they are able to contribute to nation building and development.

Given the high unemployment levels in Uganda, it is justfiavle for Ugandans to seek for greener pastures abroad.

What is important now is government to join UAERA in streamlining the externalization of labour.

Research shows that countries that have imposed restrictions on the movement of migrant workers have ended up with more of their people being trafficked and ending up in miserable situations.

It is good news that Uganda has already signed two bilateral labour agreements; with The Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Between Jan-2016 and Jul 2017, Uganda imposed a ban on externalization of domestic workers due to many reported cases in social and mainstream media of mistreatment of Ugandan girls in the host countries especially Saudi Arabia.

However, during the same period, 30,000 (Thirty thousand) Ugandan ladies were either trafficked or left on their own to Oman and other destinations.

Currently, Oman is not an authorized destination of Uganda female domestic workers. Ugandan male workers and female professionals are permitted to work anywhere in the world as long as there is proof of availability of genuine employment.

The other countries in the Middle East have also strengthened their labour laws for protection of the workers’ human rights.

These measures have in turn tremendously improved the conditions of migrant workers.

Opinion leaders like politicians, religious leaders, civil society and the general public ought to know that there’s a distinction between safe labour migration and trafficking of persons.

Trafficked people carry the risk of going to the unknown destinations and therefore end up mistreated, tortured and dead in some cases.

That’s why UAERA and government are emphasizing that Ugandans seeking jobs abroad should travel through genuine licensed companies.

Ugandans who go through members companies of UAERA are captured in the digitalized system, monitored and protected.

The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Labor and Social Development has led to the introduction of digitization that has revolutionized the processes of recruitment and monitoring of workers from Uganda in the destination countries.

Regulation and continued guidance about the industry and establishment of a labor liaison office is also a step in the right direction in as far as streamlining externalization of labour is concerned.

Mosaned, an online monitoring system that is used to manage the recruitment process was introduced as well as a four party standard employment contract which is signed by employer, employee, Source Company and Destination Company.

The labour dispute and settlement centres have also been established in several cities of Saudi Arabia manned by judges but also hefty penalties for employers who violate employees’ human rights have been put in place.

Government has also established a human rights department at the domestic center of the ministry of labour boosted by establishment of call centres to respond to labour complaints.

Establishment of Reception centers with medical facilities in major cities to cater for workers who may be distressed, stranded or unwell are also in place.

It’s also compulsory for a domestic worker to be provided with a mobile phones so that they can easily and freely communicate with their people back home.

Termination of the contract is also acceptable in case either party is not satisfied with the terms and conditions of the contract.

Lastly, there is provision of return air tickets by the government of Saudi Arabia to returning workers who may find challenges and are compelled to leave the country as well as compulsory opening of bank accounts for all migrant workers and payment of wages through the banks.

Challenges to the Industry

Adventurers

These are youth who venture on their own to find jobs abroad. They travel on tourists /Visit visas and many of them fail to get the jobs before the expiry of their visas.

Others run out of money and get stranded, send messages on social media about torture and cause public anxiety.

Human Trafficking

Due to lack of information about formal channels of getting employment abroad, many youths are lured by human traffickers , who smuggle the victims and end up in difficult situations in countries of destination.

Negative Publicity

As a result of human trafficking and adventurism, the media portrays labour externalization as risky, dangerous and fake.

UAERA has strengthened the secretariat to sensitize the public about the externalization of labour; it is safe and paying if one goes through licensed companies.

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Entertainment News

Irene Ntale talks about plans to get married

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By BigEyeUg Writer

Musician Irene Ntale who has a new EP out has finally spoken about her marriage plans. While other artistes seem to have no problem finding someone to marry, it is not the case with Irene Ntale who said that she is having an ample amount of time to get her self together and find the right man to call hubby.

While appearing in a recent interview, Ntale has this to say. “I’m not in a rush to get married and I’m sure God will help me get a man at the right time.” Ntale stressed as she responsed to numerous questions from fans about getting the one.

She then went on to express that it is a nice thing to be married and just like most women, she would like to find a good man who she can settle down with.

Irene then dropped the bomb on any fellow artiste that wishes to become her man. The RnB, reggae, and acoustic artiste said that she cannot and will never marry someone in the same industry emphasizing that she would really wish to have someone who does not have any single interest in doing music.

Ntale while getting much deeper into the conversation said men fear approaching artistes because of their statuses which usually comes as an injustice.

We know the artiste has been dating and we are sure she will find the right person soon and her fans will be the first ones to know. We will keep you posted.

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Celebrity Gossip

Radio City’s Miss Deadan joins Sanyu FM

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By BigEyeUG Writer

Following the sacking of Sanyu FM employees in June over a salary-cut protest, new workers were recruited including the celebrated actress and radio personality Diana Deedan Muyira also known as Miss Deedan.

This was confirmed to us by Sanyu FM and Deedan. She even went ahead to post about it on Social. The talented MC said that she was excited to start her new journey in another home which is Sanyu FM.

In addition to that, Miss Deedan thanked Radio City her molding her into the presenter she is right now.

“I cannot believe the daughter of Radio city is now old enough to leave home and start her journey in a new home, Radio city molded me into this presenter, I will forever be grateful! Sanyu FM thank you for welcoming me” She tweeted.

Miss Deedan will be hosting “The Breakfast club” alongside Salvado and Yvonne every weekday from 6am -10am starting this Monday the 3rd of August.

Deedan was born in Kenya and moved to Uganda to work and she has been active in the media industry since 2013. She She featured in the famous movie “Beneath the lies” as Tracy Kintu which put more light to her fame. She has been doing “the jam” an afternoon show on radio city from 3-7pm.She received a lot of congratulatory messages from her fans and friends upon her new journey. We also wish you the best Miss Deedan.!

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Celebrity Gossip

Victor Kamenyo in fresh trouble with landlady

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By BigEyeUG Writer

Musician Victor Kamenyo is no stranger to controversy. He is now in fresh trouble with his landlady according to our snoops.


The luga flow artiste is said to have abandoned his pad and run away without paying his landlady any coin. His landlady says that she had been understanding and patient with him and was therefore surprised that he had run away.

“Kamenyo nakwewunyisiza nyo Okuva munyumba yange nga tonsibude, ngankugumikiriza corona yoona sikunyeze, ongamba nti njakuleeta otudde wansi nentula wansi nga nange nenkukiliza ngamanyi tosobola kunimba, naye kinewunyisiza nyo nti enyumba ogyononye, ogenze tonsibudde” the landlady lamented to our snoops.

His neighbors informed us that Kamenyo with the help of other four boys used a Toyota Noah vehicle to pack his property and run away. The landlady has promised to involve the police and make sure she gets to the conclusion of this.

This comes just days after the rapper throw in the towel for the Rubaga North MP competitions which he had promised to take part in.

We will keep you posted.

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Entertainment News

Chris Evans excited after Kabaka performance

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By BigEyeUg Writer

As Buganda held a commemorative event for the coronation of Ssabasajja Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, artistes including Chris Evans, Maureen Nantume, Mesach Semakula, Kazibwe Kapo and many more were invited to perform.

This left celebrated artiste, Chris Evans, excited as he had words overflowing while talking about the thrilling event.

Evans said he had two months of no sleep from the time he learnt that he was to perform at the coronation,” Nga okuva emyezi ebiri emabega, mbadde sikyebakanga nga ninze olunaku lutuka ddi? Amazima gali nti mbadde kubunkenke”

He was shocked by the invitation which gave him sleepless nights as he prepared for the long awaited day.

In the same spirit, Chris continued to praise the Kabaka for the good leadership full of positivity, innovation, honesty and collaboration.

We congratulate the Kabaka on celebrating the 27th Amatikkira.

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