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Court Dismisses Trafficking Case Against Businesswoman :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Court Dismisses Trafficking Case Against Businesswoman

State Attorney Joseph Kyomuhendo told the Court that between January to April 2021, Namudu operated a recruitment agency known as Freedom Herbal Products and Services Limited at Mengo without a license issued by the administration.
17 Apr 2024 11:55
Justice Andrew Bashaija who has made the decision.
The International Crimes Division of the High Court has dismissed eight charges against businesswoman Lydia Namudu.

On Tuesday, Justice Andrew Bashaija set Namudu free because some of the people allegedly trafficked were adults above 18 years of age and not children as stated by the prosecutors. He added that there was no sufficient evidence to show debt bondage between the victims and the accused person.

Namudu was arraigned before the International Crimes Division in 2022 and was also accused of operating a recruitment agency without a permit contrary to the Employment (Recruitment of the Ugandan Migrant Workers Abroad) Regulations, 2021.

State Attorney Joseph Kyomuhendo told the Court that between January to April 2021, Namudu operated a recruitment agency known as Freedom Herbal Products and Services Limited at Mengo without a license issued by the administration.

In their statements recorded by police, the victims stated that Namudu allegedly put up job adverts on different local media houses looking for shopkeepers, housemaids, and Shamba boys, and her telephone contact was shared on air for those interested in contacting her. 

According to the prosecution, a contact or branch office in Jinja would receive the calls and refer them to Namudu in Mengo Kampala where Freedom Herbal Products and Services Limited offices were located.    

The victims stated that when they contacted Namudu, they would be told to pay 50,000 and 20,000 Shillings for boys and girls respectively, passport photos, full-size photos, and personal identification cards or from their parents for those who didn't have them.   Further, that payments also varied from different individuals according to the statements.

The evidence by the Prosecution also shows that whenever the victims reached Mengo as directed by the accused and called her numbers, someone would pick and identify herself as Lydia and then go ahead to collect them before they could be kept in her office while entirely depending on her for food as they were kept hopeful of securing for their jobs.

However, in his ruling, Justice Bashaija said there was no evidence to prove that Namudu owned the company and that it doesn't fall under the definition of a recruitment agency.

“The evidence disclosed by the Prosecution has not established to the required standard that the accused person operated a recruitment agency without a license. In conclusion, the Prosecution's evidence has not established substantial grounds to believe that the accused person committed any of the offenses she is charged with", said Bashaija.   

He added that the court is reluctant to confirm any charges against her and is left with no option but to dismiss them and to discharge her.

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