Doreen Magezi, is one of the 23 girls that were brought back into the country on Friday, 5th July 2019 aboard AirDubai from Jordan.
Magezi, according to her area MP Betty Nambooze, put through a distress call to her (Nambooze) asking for help to return back home due to her deteriorating health in the Middle East.
The labour export business as we know it, comes with a lot of promises of good life and greener pastures in the Middle East and a lot of money. The perpetrators or owners of the labour export companies are accused of using their money, connections and power to persuade unsuspecting girls into this lucrative trade.
While speaking to NBS Television, Thursday morning, Magezi, just like many that have went to the Middle East, left Uganda for Jordan through Marphie International Agencies after the promise of a better pay and easy jobs than what she was earning back home.
“On reaching, things turned upside down. The work was hectic and it was totally different to how we do things here. My health started deteriorating and I ended up getting sick,” Magezi said in part.
Asked if she was briefed enough while leaving, Magezi said that the agents at Marphie International didn’t do enough. She says that yes, they are briefed enough but she found a totally different experience in Jordan.
The Nilepost did a background check on Marphie Agencies and found out that Marphie is a registered labour export company by the registrar of companies with licence no.143.
Doreen says that everything was different. The size of the house was about seven rooms. She had to wake up at 6AM and the way they clean is also different.
“The way they clean is so different. In Middle East,they pull everything literally and scrub the house. You have to pull the cupboards and everything. They even reach a point of touching and prove its clean. You can even take about 3 or 4 hours cleaning,” Doreen said.
She says that on a daily basis, she had to wake up at 6AM and the earliest she could go to bed was 10PM and some times midnight depending on the day and this, with two or three breaks while eating or easing herself. For the bigger part of the day, she had to be on her feet.
On Monday, 8, July 2019, The Uganda Association for External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) held a press conference at Africana Hotel, Rwizi Hall, where Ruth Karungi, the director of Marphie International Agencies said that some girls are just lazy and Doreen Magezi was one of those. She said that Magezi called her and told her that she wanted to come back home because she was home sick.
But Magezi maintained that she is not lazy as its alleged.
“The girls are not lazy. Me going to work is already a sign that I am hardworking and I am ready to work. Because we want a better pay, we go to the Middle East but we also have to rest. If you’re to go to a place where you stand from 6AM to 10PM, I don’t think that’s being lazy.”
How her health deteriorated
Magezi says that when they talk about torture, many Ugandans only focus on the physical beating but torture takes different shapes and forms
“Torture takes different forms, There is psychological torture and many others. I ended up here because of the various things that I went through which affected my health. If you’re to have breakfast, It’s from midday and this is your first meal and in most cases it is a chapati and a cup of tea or water. If you’re lucky, you get margarine. The next meal is sometimes at 4 or 5PM and this might be your last meal.”
Magezi who had signed for 2 years, says that she was already feeling pain in her body by the fourth week.
“I talked to my boss and she gave me some panadol which was okay but as the days progressed, the pain increased. At times I had three or four baskets to iron and one day, I was given a chemical to scrub silver and bronze utensils. The chemical was too strong and the moment I inhaled it, my pain intensified. I told my employer that the chemical was affecting me but she asked me; why do leave your country to come and work?”
” I reported to the agent in Jordan and also talked to Marphie back home but after sometime, when there was nothing being done, my sister told me that we try Hon. Nambooze as my area MP,” Magezi told NBS Television.
She says that she reached an extent of sneezing blood after using the chemical to scrub and she only given herbal tea and panadol.
“My employer asked if I was sneezing anything meaning that she knew. I was sneezing blood and all I was given was panadol and told to go back to work. In the Arab world you don’t fall sick,”
Magezi is among the lucky girls to be allowed to have a phone while in the Middle East but even her, it was only for a limited time.
“I am among the lucky ones. I was only allowed to have the phone at night and it’s one of those nights that I sent Hon. Nambooze my message,”
She says that, the agents tasked her to pay $3000 before being allowed to come back home since she had defaulted a contract of 2 years by working for only 3 months instead. Magezi also says that she was only paid for the first 2 months only despite working for 3 months.
On reaching Entebbe International Airport, Magezi says that she was held by security personnel who dragged her to a police station and ordered her to record a statement.
A visibly broken Magezi, told NBS TV that she has now been diagnosed with Typhoid, Ulcers and she will have to see a physiotherapist for her back that is paining.
On Monday, Ruth Karungi, the Director of Marphie International said that Doreen Magezi was in perfect health and all these were lies being perpatriated by Nambooze for political gains.