By Gad Masereka
Two Middle East Consultants employees were found guilty by the High Court’s International Crimes Division of attempting to traffic 50 migrant workers. The General Manager, Benon Kunywana, and the Recruitment and Vetting Officer, Godfrey Kyalimpa, were found guilty.
Following a plea agreement with the government in which he agreed to accept the accusations in exchange for a lesser punishment, Justice Richard Wejuli Wabwire found the two guilty. On three counts, including encouraging trafficking and fabricating clearance lists, they were found guilty and sentenced to prison.
Each of the convicted individuals received a court order requiring them to pay a fine of 5 million shillings or risk three years in prison. According to the prosecution’s argument, Kyalimpa and Kunywana attempted to smuggle fifty migrant workers on February 12, 2019, at Entebbe International Airport in the Wakiso District.
A clearance list for migrant workers reportedly signed by Lawrence Egulu, the Commissioner of Employment Services from the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, is another official document they are accused of forging on the same day. Egulu, however, found out that someone else had signed the contract without his knowledge.
Further investigations found that both Kyalimpa and Kunywana were employed by Middle East Consultants Company at the time the list of 277 migrant workers was created and the signature forging was enabled. Only 227 workers, not 277, as stated by the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, had been cleared.
Senior State Attorney Jacquelyn Okui, who is also the Public Relations Officer for the Director of Public Prosecutions, successfully prosecuted the case.