LUWERO – The district security committee in Luwero has ordered the registration of all factory employees in an attempt to fight crime in the area. Luwero district is home to 119 small and large factories. The large factories have since their respective inceptions, attracted workers from outside the district – commonly referred to as foreigners.
The establishment of various factories, despite having a positive bearing, brought quite a number of mischievous youth – leading to numerous complaints of increases crime rate as well as human rights’ abuses in the communities, allegedly committed by the workers of the various factories.
Isaac Wampamba, the Butuntumula sub-county LCV councillor said that some workers have been accused of involving in petty crimes like stealing food stuffs near the factories while others are habitual debt defaulters.
He said that others have been implicated in assaulting residents as well as ganging up against local leaders who try to restrain them.
According to Wampamba, some of the workers switch factories while others flee back to their home district, making their tracing very difficult.
Richard Bwabye, the Luwero Resident District Commissioner, confirmed that his office had received reports implicating some of the workers, especially in sexual offences against minors and elderly women within the communities.
He however noted besides committing crimes, some labourers were victims of employers’ abuses – including but not limited to non-payment of salaries or dismissals without pay.
Bwabye said that the situation had forced the district Security Committee to pass a resolution, ordering, especially large factory owners to register their workers and submit the lists to the Labour Office. He said that the lists must capture the workers’ particulars – including place of origin and employment details.
Bwabye said that Police will use the data to trace the workers who commit crimes in addition to assisting labour officers in the district to fight for their rights.
The Security Committee also ordered the District Internal Security Officer to profile all factories within the district to ensure that all comply with the directive. Erastus Kibirango, the Luwero LCV Chairman welcomed the move, saying it will help in collecting Local Service Tax from the workers employed there.
“We had challenges as the local government to access data on the workers because these company owners are disrespectful. Some brag that they only listen to the President but with this directive – , they will have to comply,” said Kibirango.
In May 2022, this year Police detained 50 workers of Victoria Sugar Limited when they attacked two villages, destroying property in retaliation. The commotion resulted from the residents’ assault on one of their colleagues, who was suspected having intentions of stealing a motorcycle.
Recently, Ngoma sub-county leadership in Nakaseke district also resolved to register all workers on farms including casual labourers due to the increased crime in the area. Upon registration and vetting, the worker will be issued a work permit to enable them to work freely in the sub-county.