By Jumah Nsubuga
The State Minister for Labour, Mwesigwa Rukitana was yesterday grilled over the reported failed rescue of girls who were exported to Iraq by Uganda Veterans Company. He was appearing before the angry MPs sitting on gender committee chaired by Margaret Komuhagi.
The MPs that included Teopista Nantongo (Workers), Alinaitwe Rwakajara also (Workers) and Margaret Komuhangi (Nakasongola) among others tasked minister Rukutana to explain why government has neglected over 138 young girls who were dropped in Iraq by a private company pretending that they had gone to look for greener pastures.
Minister Rukutana shocked members when he said that, he is not aware of any Ugandan girl who is still struggling in Iraq.
“Hon members according to the information from the Uganda veterans company owned by Col Chris Mudora all the girls who were taken to Iraq were returned back in Uganda. I have never received any complaint regarding the mistreatment of Ugandan girls in Iraq adding that it’s also not true that those girls organs were removed per allegations” He continued to say that “ I have got a report from Uganda medical council indicating that all those girls were screened and they are okay.
The workers MP Teopista Nantongo while shading tears told the minister that, it is a shame and unfortunate for the whole government official to say that he has never received any complaint concerning to the girls who are starving in Iraq. “We have a number of evidences and facts indicating that, over 138 girls are missing in Iraq.12 girls who managed to escape from Iraq petitioned parliament urging parliament to intervene and rescue their colleagues” she said
“I want government to investigate the where about of 138 girls missing in Iraq because the Uganda veterans company illegally exported over 150 girls but only 12 managed to come back to Uganda.Suprisingly when the committee visited Iraq we couldn’t tress them. We also got the information from Iraqis that some girls were sexually abused and treated as slaves” The angry Hon noted.
“We are not happy the way the minister reacted on this issue. It’s really unfair for him to express his ignorance that girls are not suffering in Iraq. The fact is girls are really mistreated in Iraq. In fact the minister should apologize to the country for his foolish response” Said workers MP Alinaitwe Rwakajara.
Minister Rukutana also rubbished allegations saying that he is also engaged in trading young girls to Arab countries. “Those who say that I have a company dealing in trading young girls are foolish. I have my other businesses am dealing in. Whoever has the evidence pinning me that I trade girls should bring the evidence and if am found guilty I will resign my sit as a minister” He confirmed