By Watchdog reporter
As we have been telling to you how Ugandan guards in Afghanistan operate in extremely dangerous environment in our past series, we bring you yet another narration from one of our sources on how they survived death in the hands of Talibans.
Whereas some companies have built flourishing companies from exporting human labour to Arab countries, the lives of the people they take to those countries has been ruined in some instances.
Yet, some have no way of returning as their travel documents are usually taken away from them, giving credence to allegations of trafficking and slave trade, while others, are paid half of the what they were promised before signing up to work in the rough Arab world.
Yet, they are not expected to complain, as the moment they utter a word, they are immediately deported in punishment or to threaten into silence the ones that are left to stay.
Every now and then war torn Afghanistan becomes a dangerous country to operate in especially to foreign people who work from there as guards.
We have learnt that Ugandan guards working at Bagram Airbase are more prone to danger, not because they are always attacked by Talibans but because their employers (REED and Saracen Uganda Limited) who always make their lives miserable.
According to the Letter of Authorization (LOA), the employees are entitled to free medical care, military air transport, laundry services, and many more but these privileges especially air transport were compromised by the business minded Saracen Uganda Limited and REED who decided to cut on the transport costs by replacing military air transport to road transport which is quite dangerous to the lives of the guards.
Last month a group of 22 Ugandans were arranged to travel home to Uganda for their vacation. The group was supposed to move from Bagram Airbase to Kabul airport.
They were supposed to be moved by air transport but because the contracted companies wanted to save a huge lump sum, they resorted to using road transport on a risky road where Talibans always conduct attacks almost on a daily basis.
They set off for a journey in their vehicles our of the military base heading to Kabul airport. They had traveled around 35 km outside the base and before reaching Kabul airport, a driver of the car in front who was an Afghanistan national, knocked an Afghan man who was riding a motorcycle. Because of the security situation in the area, they drive at break neck speed. So the cyclist died on spot.
As soon as he was knocked dead, the noise made by that force of impact was heavy that it attracted many people to converge and see what had happened. In a twinkle of an eye, the vehicles were all surrounded by gun men.
There was a pickup truck behind those vehicles carrying Ugandans. This pickup truck contained two afghan policemen who had been hired as escorts for those vehicles.
So all vehicles were impounded by the civilian dressed afghanis and all armed with AK 47. The armed Afghanis started beating up the driver who had knocked the man dead. They beat him seriously that he was profusely bleeding.
In the due course, one of the Ugandans who was traveling in that group called Jackson tempted to run. An afghani armed may shouted at him in their local language that you move any 1 metre away and I shoot you and at this point Jackson was scared to death thus ceasing his escape plan.
As the talibans were still beating up their own for knocking a colleague, the 22 Ugandans were put at gunpoint, seeing the edge of their graves.
Fortunately, one of the police escorts secretly called a pickup man who came with the two military men dressed in uniform and armed and they begged them to take the Ugandans away as the driver who knocked remained being beaten up.
Then all the Ugandans were rescued mysteriously from the red zone to the airport. They successfully managed to board and came back to Uganda.
These Ugandans almost lost their lives because of the reckless decision which was made by Saracen and REED.
The guards have tried to raise our voices as Ugandans on that issue but what happens is that they have created a divide and rule system. Whereby some 70 Ugandans have been given salaries higher than others and made leaders. The reason behind that is ,when they elevate the 70 Ugandans as supervisors and their salaries are raised from 450 dollars (1,620,000) to 1000 dollars (3,600,000) ,the few Ugandans who have been made leaders and their salaries raised will do all it takes to suppress these others and spy on anyone who tries to raise a voice complaining about those concerns
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