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Otafiire Withdraws Directive to Labor Export Firms on Body Organ Examination

“This serves to notify all immigration officers that I have rescinded/withdrawn the notice therein requiring all Ugandans traveling to GCC for employment to be subjected to health checks for internal organs and trauma injuries before leaving the country,” Otafiire letter reads in part.
Net pic of Kahinda Otafiire
Internal Affairs Minister, Maj. Gen (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire has rescinded his directive to labor export firms to take their clients to Victoria Hospital in Bukoto for a comprehensive internal organ examination. About two months ago, Otafiire directed labor export firms to ensure that all prospective recruits for external labor under the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) undergo internal organ testing at Victoria hospital.

“All Ugandans traveling to GCC for employment will need to undergo a check for internal organs and trauma injuries before leaving Uganda as well as at arrival into Uganda. The ministry of internal affairs shall be setting up an authorized center at Bukoto, Kampala at the premises of former Kadic hospital (operated by UMC Victoria Hospital, which is a UN and ISO accredited organization,” Otafiire’s May 27 letter read in part.

Otafiire’s directive triggered an uproar among labor exporters, saying that Victoria hospital is not among those accredited by the GCC.  The accredited medical facilities according to a list issued by the Uganda Association for External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) are City Medical, Kaslon Medical, JB International, Medical World, Medicare Kampala, Bayan Diagnostic, Georo Medical and Travel Clinic.

They vowed not to be a party to an illegality. the labor export firms also informed Otafiire that he was not their line minister. To prove their stand, UAERA petitioned the high court for an injunction restraining the internal affairs ministry from implementing the Minister's directive. A few days ago, the High Court Registrar in Kampala issued an interim order stopping the ministry from implementing the directive.

“An interim order doth issue restraining the Respondent, Government Ministries/Agencies, their agents and/or servants, from implementing the Directive/Guidelines of the Minister for Internal Affairs issued on 27th May, 2022 requiring all immigrant workers travelling to GCC to undergo medical testing for internal organs and trauma injuries at a Centre operated by UMC Victoria Hospital until the hearing and determination of the main application for temporary injunction,” reads the interim order in part.

Otafiire said he was determined to ensure that labour exporters and traffickers stop abusing the rights of migrant workers who he said were being subjected to illegal organ extraction and fed to crocodiles. Now, Otafiire has backtracked on his directive, according to a letter seen by the Uganda Radio Network.

“This serves to notify all immigration officers that I have rescinded/withdrawn the notice therein requiring all Ugandans travelling to GCC for employment to be subjected to health checks for internal organs and trauma injuries before leaving the country,” Otafiire letter reads in part. Simon Peter Mundeyi, the Internal Affairs Ministry Spokesperson has confirmed the Minister's letter, saying that the decision was in response to the uproar it caused and for the good of Ugandans since the directive would cause extra costs.

“The minister has withdrawn the directive and we are back to the normal procedure. It caused uproar and people were complaining that it will involve a lot of costs. Our minister who cares for people has decided to withdraw this directive,” Mundeyi said.

About four days ago, Otafiire vowed to take drastic measures to ensure that Ugandans are protected. Otafiire said he has been receiving reports that after being trafficked to Saudi, Ugandans are taken to countries like Thailand where their body organs like heart, liver and kidney are forcefully removed and their bodies fed to crocodiles.

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