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Ugandan Sex Workers Protest Against Influx of Foreign Competitors

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Ugandan sex workers have raised their voices in protest against the rising number of foreign sex workers in the country, claiming that the increased competition is threatening their livelihoods. The complaints were formally lodged with the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) within Uganda’s Internal Affairs Ministry.

The country is currently dealing with an influx of illegal immigrants, exacerbating the situation for local sex workers. On July 5, the DCIC’s inspection team conducted an intelligence-led operation targeting illegal immigrants in the areas of Kabalagala, Kansanga, Muyenga, and Ggaba Road in Kampala City. This operation resulted in the arrest and detention of 127 individuals for further investigation and prosecution due to non-compliance with migration laws. The detained individuals included nationals from Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and China.

This recent crackdown follows a similar operation on June 26 in Kawempe Division, where the DCIC arrested 23 illegal foreign nationals, including Chinese, Indians, and Pakistanis. “They will face prosecution. We urge all foreign nationals to legalize their stay,” the DCIC stated.

The issue has escalated to the point where some female foreigners have turned to prostitution, prompting Ugandan sex workers to demand action. Internal Affairs Spokesperson Simon Mundeyi confirmed that local sex workers have appealed to the DCIC to curb the activities of foreign prostitutes. Mundeyi noted that these foreign sex workers have been aggressively seeking customers, particularly in the Kansanga area, even going so far as to solicit outside a university gate.

Mundeyi emphasized that the sex work industry should be reserved for Ugandans. “Actually, there are many Ugandan ladies who came here to complain about those ladies,” he said, adding that the foreign prostitutes have “created a lot of competition” and are “edging them out of the market.” Mundeyi’s remarks, particularly his call for foreign prostitutes to leave the business to Ugandans, elicited laughter from reporters.

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