The Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament, Ms Betty Nambooze has raised a concern about the health of 23 girls who were returned from Jordan where they had reportedly been sold into slavery.
The girls arrived in the country on Friday last week aboard Air Dubai and according to Ms Nambooze, their relatives broke down in tears on seeing their current state.
Ms Nambooze, who is tightlipped about the identities of the girls and where they are being treated from, said some of them were taken off the plane in wheelchairs with broken limbs and scars and bruises all over their faces.
“Some of these girls might even die if they don’t get better treatment. Some of them recount that when they got common illnesses, they were given medicine which made them unconscious and on waking up, they realised that they had been cut on the stomach. Am suspicious that that could be the move to remove some of their body organs,” she said.
The affected girls were reportedly hired and sent to Jordan by Marphie International Recruitment Agency Company, which operates in Kigowa in Ntinda, a Kampala suburb. Ms Namboze told this reporter in an interview that it was tag of war to return the girls from Jordan.
According to Ms Nambooze, she learnt of the dilemma from Ms Doreen Magezi, one of the victims from Namanve in Mukono who contacted her seeking her intervention to return home.
In one of her Facebook posts, Ms Nambooze noted that Marphie Agents sold the girls to the highest bidders in dollars before they were handed over to families that have been treating them as sub-humans.
She explained that when they begged for their return, the girls were told to pay US dollars 3000 (Shs11,134,500) for their freedom, prompting her to raise the matter with the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga.
However, Ms Ruth Tukahiirwa Karungi, the Director of Marphie International Recruitment Agency denied the allegations of trafficking and selling Ugandans to Arabic countries. She tasked Ms Nambooze to produce evidence to substantiate her claims, saying they are always approached by poor girls for job placements.
“After the president signing a working pact with these Arabic countries, we have been taking there both male and female youths who now have good and well-paying jobs. I wonder why one would claim that we sell them off. They are free to say whatever they want but the mighty lord is watching, if I am telling lies it will return to me,” Ms Karungi told this reporter.
She explained that they were contacted by Ms Doreen Magezi indicating that she wanted to return home and was cleared.
“Let her reveal the other victims, why is she mentioning only one person and can’t reveal where these girls are being treated from,” Ms Karungi said
Ms Nambooze said she has not intentions of fighting agencies that are struggling to bridge the employment gap in the country, but there should be standard procedures that the companies should follow to connect people to foreign countries.
She said that she has directed her legal team to take action on the matter as she pursues it through parliament.
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