By Kiyimba Bruno

The state minister for relief and disaster preparedness Musa Ecweru has this morning expressed concern on the issues that refugees face as they pave their way of getting asylum in Uganda.

Speaking this, the minister was launching a policy brief on urban refugee issues in Uganda which took place at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala.

The minister showed concern on the way security treats these people as they find their way to express their concerns to him.

“These people are touched in a rough way. As they want to enter my office the police officers at the entrance can’t allow them.” Said Ecweru.

He added that as he talks to these people, he normally ends up being a councilor to these people due to the fact that they come with very many issues yet they need help.

The minister also gave an example of the way the government has fought the issue of victimizing Somalis. On this note he said that the government of Uganda does not allow such but instead if one is found a criminal, he or she is handled as the law states.

On the other hand the minister wondered the gold in the hearts of Ugandans and the way government manages that big population in relation to the population worldwide. Here Ecweru thanked the Ugandan government for helping the refugees who are in the country and promised to return those who wish go back home peacefully.

Samuel Muhirwi Wangalwa the executive director for Inter aid project in Uganda said that the operating policy for refugees in the country is that when they come, they are supposed to go to rural areas but there are those who prefer to be in urban areas. He explained that those who choose to stay in town have accepted to take care of their needs.

“However on a sad note many of these who chose to stay in town end up failing and that is where the inter aid programme comes in.” Muhirwi said.

On the same function, the Executive director for African leadership institute Hon David Pulkol said that there are many guild leaders who arise up but the big question that stays is who mentors them as they build their career.

“We have been in UCU and shall be in Gulu, Mubende and all institutions of higher learning in order to help them since most of them end up in parliament “Said Pulkol.

He also said that they are ready to look for which committees that have not worked for a given period of time.

“We see many issues pending in parliament but never know where they end” Added Pulkol.

It is on this note that he thanked the minister for always being present whenever called upon at any given time.

The policy brief presents policy suggestions emerging from an AFLI study earlier this year titled “The special question of urban refugees in Uganda”, triggered by parliamentary recommendations to review the process of managing refugees in the country.

The research conducted in partnership with Inter-Aid Uganda, targeted refugees within the jurisdiction of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), and was aimed at identifying and prescribing solutions to the emerging issues affecting urban-based refugees.

The findings were validated in a public policy dialogue organized by the Uganda Development Policy Management Forum (UDPMF) and the Uganda Management Institute (UMI).