13 February 2018

Uganda: Hotel Recruitment Drive Halted Over Racist Job Advert

The Equal Opportunities Commission has asked a hotel in Kampala to explain the basis of a job advert in which they ring-fenced top managerial jobs for specific racial groups.

A local daily on Monday carried a job advert by the Mutundwe-based hotel in which they indicated that they preferred a white Hotel Manager and an Indian Restaurant Manager. The advert triggered public ire and ridicule for discriminating against local labour.

Other jobs advertised which were not ring-fenced for whites and Indians include; waitresses and waiters, kitchen chefs, receptionists, pool attendants, gym instructor, housekeepers, outside cleaners, social media manager, car drivers, boda-boda motorcycle rider, saloon attendant, gardener, accountant and human resource manager.

The Secretary to the Equal Opportunities Commission, Mr Mujuni Lawrence in a letter dated February 12, asked the hotel manager/proprietor to explain why they specifically want to give the two jobs to the groups they indicated.

"You are hereby ordered to make a written explanation as to why your hotel seeks to recruit for the mentioned positions taking into account the prospective applicant's race and origin. The written explanation must reach the commission by close of business on Thursday, February 15, 2018," the letter reads.

The commission noted that Article 21 of the constitution of Uganda prohibits discrimination based on race, colour or ethnic origin. "Discrimination on these grounds is also prohibited in several provisions of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act of 2017. Section 6 of the Employment Act specifically prohibits discrimination in employment... the commission, therefore, found your advert discriminatory and an affront to the concept of equal opportunities," the letter further reads.

The commission further ordered to halt the recruitment process until when hotel management is cleared.

According to its website, the hiotel is located within a 10-minute drive from Kampala city centre.

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