Joseph Kony is a Criminal, But Uganda President Museveni Has Allowed Human Trafficking on His Watch

Last week, Eyewitness News reported human trafficking was on the rise in Uganda. Women are lured into the prospect of foreign jobs and end up in forced labor and prostitution. The report alleged that the government agency Uganda Veterans Development Limited (UVDL) was involved in this scandal and procured employment where women were raped, beaten, and tortured by their employers. To address this issue, MP Elijah Okupa proposed a petition to hold such government companies accountable, but more needs to be done.

In order to win “reelection,” Museveni could not afford to lose his military service companies. According to a member of Museveni’s National Resistance Movement party, Retired Colonel Chris Mudoola, the UVDL chairman, these service companies were “a sign of confidence in local professionals and improved business relations between the two countries.”

But many of these service companies committed rape, torture, and beatings against female employees, often holding them captive and selling them into slavery. As a Ugandan owned company, the government was responsible for paying death and disability compensation and repatriation and monitoring and shutting down businesses that committed human rights abuses under Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Ugandan Migrant Workers Abroad, No. 62.

Museveni continued to allow human trafficking companies operate in Uganda. After UVDL had been shut down, the government gave the order to reopen the company.

Photo Credit: dispatch_ug