AFRICA: A Labour firm in Uganda sues ministry over license

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The Ministry of Labour is embroiled in a legal battle with labour export firm; Competitive Manpower International Limited, over rejecting renewal of an operating licence.
In the case filed before Kampala High Court on February 16, Competitive Manpower International Limited is seeking orders to compel the Ministry of Labour to renew its licence which expired in July 2017.
Through its lawyers of M/s Nsubuga K.S Advocates, the labour company filed the application for judicial review against the Attorney General (AG) challenging the decision of the Labour ministry.

Allegations
It is alleged that government through the Labour ministry neglected, failed and refused to invite the company to defend itself against allegations put forward against it and instead terminated the process of renewal of the licence.
The court case followed a July 2019 letter in which the Ministry of Labour’s termination of the renewal process of the company’s licence cited failure to satisfy the Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan Migrant Workers abroad) Regulations of 2005 and other laws.
On June 10, 2019, the Ministry of Labour wrote that there was gross violation of laws, regulations and guidelines related to externalisation of labour by the company referring to a case of six migrant workers who were intercepted while being taken by the company to Afghanistan.
In a July 18, 2019 letter, the company through its lawyers wrote that the allegations were without proof but rather brought up to deny the company renewal of licence.

Police report
A July 18, 2019 police report on alleged illegal recruitment shows the evidence on record cannot sustain the charges against the company.
“It is unfortunate that the licence for the mentioned company was not renewed, thereafter, but the victim’s contracts are still running and it is unfair for the victims to be intercepted at the airport when travelling back to report for work,” reads a police report.

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