The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi has revealed that government has finalized plans to train all migrant workers in patriotism so that they can become Uganda's good will Ambassadors in their host countries.
In the recent past, a number of Ugandans abroad, especially those working in the Middle East have used social media to castigate government as well as their host countries which is slowly affecting the country's relations with the foreign countries.
While speaking to over 100 girls during the launch of a program titled, "Agricultural Income for Females in Labor- AGRI-FIL" organized by Community with No Boundaries East Africa (COMB-EA) at Mayors Garden in Kayunga district, Walusimbi noted that a number of Ugandans who have traveled abroad as migrant workers have turned against their country by propagating negativity especially through social media due to lack of patriotism.
"As government, we are considering to have migrant workers train in patriotism before they leave the country as part of their training manual. There would be no need to ban labor externalization in case all Ugandans are patriotic enough and work for the good of fellow Ugandans and the country at large," Walusimbi said.
The Museveni advisor said that despite the negativity around labor externalization, there is need to acknowledge that this project was initiated by the president who lobbied different countries to offer employment opportunities to Ugandans and many are so far benefiting out of it.
During the visit, he met a one Edith Nakigozi a mother of two girls who have been working in Saudi Arabia for now four months and have managed to construct for her a four bed-room house.
"This is part of the many success stories from labour externalization and this sector should be supported because it is helping many families despite the challenges. The president is aware of these challenges and he is doing all that it takes to have them solved."
Walusimbi noted that government commenced negotiations in a bid to sign new bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia and other countries to lobby for other forms of employment opportunities apart from house maids.
He advised the girls who are in distress to always first contact their supervisors and the embassy officials before rushing with uncoordinated information on social media.
"Avoid propagating and fabricating lies through social media because this is affecting the country's relationship with Saudi Arabia which is not good at the moment. Avoid politicking be patriotic enough and good will ambassadors for your country, promote the good values from Uganda and avoid blackmail," Walusimbi emphasized.
He cautioned supervisors deployed by companies in Saudi Arabia against being rude and arrogant to the migrant workers whose rights they should protect and defend.
Walusimbi said that the supervisors as well will have to first undergo training in patriotism so that they can defend the interests of fellow Ugandans.
He encouraged all migrant workers to always use companies that are registered and licensed by the government through the Ministry of Gender to avoid being trafficked and later dumped in the foreign countries.
"I would like to warn all companies that have made in a habit to dump our girls and do nothing to promote and defend their rights against their employees. Government will not hesitate taking on such companies," Walusimbi added.
He commended the initiative by COMB of setting up pineapple farms for migrant workers as a way of investing their hard-earned money.
"As government we encourage such initiatives because it will help in creation of jobs for those that remain home as well as helping to resettle the migrant workers upon the expiry of the two-year contract."
COMB Chairperson Board of Directors, Moses Kalinda explained that the program is aimed at supporting female migrant workers to engage in commercial agriculture for increased income generation and empowering them to be economically independent.