Six arrested as Uganda cracks down on illegal immigrantsBy SARAH TUMWEBAZE | Saturday, September 3 2011 at 12:15
Around 550 suspected illegal immigrants who have been working in different Ugandan newsrooms have been arrested.
In a mid morning operation carried out on Friday, immigration officers combed through several media houses including The Daily Monitor, New Vision, The Observer and Red Pepper. The officers declined to name the suspects.
According to Eunice Kisembo, the public relations officer at the country's Immigration office, the swoop was part of regular operations targeting illegal immigrants working the East African country. “This crackdown does not only focus on media houses,” she said.
Ms Kisembo could not confirm whether the raids were linked to an earlier threat by the country's Internal Minister Affairs minister Hilary Onek during a Kampala traders’ strike in July. Then, the minister announced that the government would soon clamp down on illegal immigrants, following traders' complains that foreigners had infiltrated their business and were denying them opportunities.
Sources indicate that Kampala has decided to take a decision action against what it perceives as high number of non-Ugandans employed, especially the Kenyan-owned banks and other companies which have opened branches in Uganda in the last few years.
When asked whether the crackdown on illegal immigrants does not offend the East African Community policy on free movement of labour in the region, Ms Kisembo said, “the EAC protocol does not mean that people should move illegally.”
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