Ugandan housemaid ends life after Saudi Arabia employment, employer speaks out

Ugandan housemaid in Saudi Arabia reportedly commits suicide, employer speaks out
Josephine Agadi died on February 1, 2024.

Paliisa, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Mrs. Aisha Muhammad Isa, a Saudi Arabian citizen and employer of the late Josephine Agadi, who reportedly committed suicide in Uganda after returning from Saudi Arabia where she worked as a housemaid, has stepped forward to address allegations of contractual violations.

Agadi, who had been working as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia, passed away at Paliisa Hospital last week after a suicide attempt at her residence in Paliisa District.

Agadi had been in Saudi Arabia, in the Middle East since April 30, 2022, on a two-year contract, serving Mrs. Aisha Muhammad Isa as a housemaid for 21 months. Her employment terms included a monthly salary of 900 Saudi Riyal (approximately UGX 900,000), alongside additional benefits such as food, clothing, and medical insurance.

Josephine Agadi, a Ugandan housemaid, allegedly took her own life after Saudi Arabia employment, sparking a closer look into her employment conditions.

Mrs. Muhammad disclosed that Agadi had requested the termination of her contract, and expressed a desire to return to Uganda at the end of January 2024.

In adherence to the contract terms, Mrs. Muhammad asserted that she facilitated Agadi’s return to Uganda, having booked a ticket to Entebbe International Airport at the end of January.

However, investigations revealed that Agadi had encountered challenges during her employment, leading to two instances where she was counseled by the recruiting agency in Saudi Arabia after conflicts with her employer over working conditions.

Investigations reveal conflicts between Agadi and her Saudi employer, leading to counseling sessions and successful mediation by the recruiting agency.

Complaint handling forms indicated issues, such as a lack of cooperation with Mrs. Muhammad and her daughter, as well as Agadi’s reported difficulty in dealing with elderly individuals.

“She failed to cooperate with madam as well as one of the daughters in the house,” a response to one of the complaints handling forms provided by the recruiting firm in Saudi Arabia show.

The recruiting agency in Saudi Arabia provides insight into the handling of Agadi’s complaints and the resolution of conflicts during her 21-month employment.

Agadi had reported to the recruiting firm that her boss was “not appreciative, rude and tough.”

The recruiting agency addressed these concerns during the seventh month of her contract, providing guidance to Agadi to better navigate her responsibilities.

No instances of physical abuse were reported by Agadi during her tenure, a fact corroborated by her father, Simon Opio. He emphasized that she had consistently sent money home.

“She never complained of any physical abuse at the hands of her employer and she often sent us money,” her father, Simon Opio said on Wednesday 7, February 2024.

The recruiting firm further emphasized that all complaints, whether addressed online or during counseling sessions, were successfully resolved. Payment slips were presented as evidence, confirming the clearance of Agadi’s salary for the entire 21-month period.

Payment slips presented by the recruiting agency confirm the clearance of Agadi’s salary throughout her entire 21-month contract.

“Throughout her contract, the complaints that were received from her were all handled, and among them are the two when she was brought to the office for counselling,” the firm told the Kampala Dispatch on Wednesday, January 7.

“The ones that were received online were all handled still via phone calls with audio recordings available,” the firm added.

The recruiting firm further stated, “We therefore have no clue on whether her sponsor has any contractual violation made on the candidate during her stay in Saudi Arabia, and that can be referred to the complaint forms attached.”

On January 29, 2024, Agadi contacted the recruiting firm to inform them that she was being escorted to the airport for her return journey, with her ticket provided by her employer.

On January 30, 2024, Agadi arrived safely at Entebbe International Airport, as confirmed by airport authorities. Nevertheless, the circumstances surrounding her journey from the airport to Ntinda Police Station remain unclear.

Also Read: Uganda suspends labour export agreement with Saudi Arabia

Mr. Opio, Agadi’s father, reported receiving a distressed call from the police to pick up his daughter. Subsequently, she was taken to church for prayers before her tragic passing.

On January 30, Ntinda Police Station confirmed the receipt of Agadi from an unidentified boda boda operator who transported her along with her luggage.

Police sources report that Agadi had a small bag containing money believed to be UGX 3.4 million. Unfortunately, the larger bag was taken by the same boda boda rider who transported her to the station.

The police station is currently actively investigating the circumstances leading to her distress and subsequent suicide attempt.