By Our Reporter
KAMPALA, Uganda [SHIFTMEDIA] State House has distanced itself from claims that they are behind the job promises made by Phibby Awere Otaala Uganda’s former ambassador to Kenya. Over 200 desperate job-hunting youths are irked by the unfulfilled promises made by Phibby regarding taking them for jobs in Germany, Poland and Italy.
Our investigations reveal that upon returning from Germany last year (2023), she had initiated a mobilization campaign to solicit for un-employed Ugandan youths to take them to Germany for Jobs.
Awere Otaala, formerly the wife to Uganda’s former Minister of State for Health and current Member of Parliament for West Budama South Dr. Emmanuel Otaala served as Uganda’s High Commissioner for Kenya from 2017 to 2020.
In 2019 she was involved in a nasty accident along the Eldoret-Malaba Highway where she sustained serious body injuries. With the help of President Museveni, she was supported to travel to Germany for treatment. We have information that it’s here that she made links to support hundreds of Ugandan unemployed youths.
State House Not Linked
Following reports from the hundreds of unemployed youths she promised jobs that she was linked to State House and was helping President Museveni get jobs for them, our team of investigators sought a comment from State House. A senior Aide to President Museveni (names withheld) revealed to us that Phibby Otaala is not a State House staff, and whatever she was doing regarding exporting labour was not the initiative of State House, neither that of H.E the president.
“President Museveni always supports those helping Ugandans get jobs abroad, but that doesn’t mean that when individuals fleece innocent Ugandans with empty promises, the president should be blamed,” said the source. Adding: “We have been hearing of many individuals impersonating State House staff, and the person of the President and we don’t take such acts lightly. We appeal to those affected to file a case with the State House Anti Corruption Unit for further action.”
The State House Anti-Corruption Unit chief Brig. Gen Henry Isoke promised to follow the matter and asked the complainants to formerly file a case with the unit.
Dragged To Court
Earlier in the week, we reported how two youths, Gilbert Onyango and Orise Lambert had dragged Phibby to Court over the same issues. We have since gathered that over 200 other Ugandans who were promised jobs are now threatening to attack her on sight. Joseph Othieno Araka who was promised a plumbing job in Germany is breathing ‘fire’.
“That woman (Phibby Otaala) is such a sweet talker. She promised me a plumbing job in Germany. She demanded that I pay shs5 million to cater for passport, Visa and Air ticket. I had alreadyy deposited shs1.7m. She promised that I would leave for Germany by May, but when I called her for updates, she started telling me stories, “said Othieno. He said during the Christmas season, he called her and she demanded for the outstanding balance. “I told her to show me any person among the first batch she had told me that had left, she declined to talk, now I need my money back,” fumed Othieno.
Another family of three told us how each of them paid shs5m for jobs in Germany and Italy, though they were promised jobs in May, they are yet to travel, leave alone get work permits and visas.
Ex NOTU Chairman General Speaks Out
After scores of the affected youths named Usher Wilson Owere, the former Chairman General National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) for siding with Phibby Otaala, we reached him out for a comment. The youths had told us that when they reported Phibby to Kiwatule Police station, she came ‘tongue in cheek ‘ with Owere whom they said was culpable of her motives.
But in his response, Owere acknowledged whatever Phibby was doing was right, and for the benefit of Ugandans.
“What I know is that Phibby was around during the festive season but had travelled back abroad. She told me how she was planning to take Ugandans abroad, I tried to stand in with her but later realized she wasn’t an easy person, so I pulled out, “said Owere. Owere told us he pulled out after he sensed Phibby wasn’t straightforward.
“She told me she had taken some six Ugandans abroad, but not aware under which company,” said Owere.
He however said Phibby doesn’t have any ill intentions of cheating Ugandans. “All I know is that Phibby is no-longer an ambassador, but she gets some assignments from the President. I don’t think she fleeced Ugandans. The issue is that some Ugandans are not just patient,” he said.
Owere said he was interested in the initiative since it was going to be beneficial for Ugandans, but when he realized it was intertwined with internal wrangles, he decided to keep a distance. “But what I know is that Phibby didnt fleece anyone, the process just delayed, and one thing I know about our people (Jopadhola) they are jealous, impatient, and full of intrigue,” he explained.
Sacked Coordinator Roars
Simeo Oyese, a former Old Student of Kisoko Boys struck the eyes of “Min Gweno”(Mother Hen) Phibby Otaala due to his excellent mobilisation skills. Oyese told us that when Phibby approached him before her return, he had mobilised over 200 youths.
“When I was approached by Phibby Otaala, I knew it was a good idea to get jobs for many unemployed Ugandans, but alas, I was wrong, “said Oyese. Oyese said his woes emerged when he begun questioning the delayed visas and work permits for scores of many Ugandans who had paid their monies.
“As a country coordinator I personally registered over 200 Ugandans who paid between Ugx6 million, Ugx 5million to around Shs2m. In total Phibby raised over shs400million from these Ugandans, and none of them has flown out for any job apart from her sister and longtime personal assistant, “said Oyese.
Oyese said he doesn’t have any hopes in Phibby taking Ugandans abroad. “I feel this is a total scam. Ugandans have been fleeced; Ministry of Gender denied her (Phibby) company is licensed to take Ugandans abroad for jobs. It is also not true that President Museveni is backing her, she is just a fraudster, ” he said.