Destitute U.K. Ugandan’s Grave Condition

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"If she had given me a ticket back home, I wouldn’t have been in this state. Last week, I nearly died before I was rushed here,� says Karamagi of the High Commissioner.

Africa News Update

The health conditions of a woman who says she was brought to London by Uganda’s High Commissioner with a job offer then abandoned on the streets of London has taken a turn for worse and she has been hospitalized.

Evelyn Karamagi, who was brought to London to work as a “gardener” for Uganda’s High Commissioner Joan Rwabyomere was admitted on Friday, August 17, 2007, to Newham University Hospital, an East London hospital, suffering renal disorder.

Karamagi had a three-year employment contract beginning last year in April but was fired within five months by Rwabyomere who in a letter to the Employment Tribunals, now adjudicating the case, claims it was for cause and that Karamagi’s work wasn’t satisfactory.

It’s unclear whether UK law allows a foreign diplomat to dismiss an employee and not provide for their fare back to their country of origin. “If she had given me a ticket back home, I wouldn’t have been in this state. Last week, I nearly died before I was rushed here,” says Karamagi of the High Commissioner. This reporter observed her very swollen legs and feet; she’s currently not standing for fear of inducing further complications.

Karamagi says she's received anonymous threats since her plight was revealed in this newspaper and that she fears for her safety. Hospital security is stationed near her location at the hospital.
To bring Karamagi to the UK, the Ugandan foreign ministry obtained a visa from the UK High Commission in Uganda; two other visa applicants in addition to Karamagi, were listed in an application letter, a copy of which was obtained by this newspaper, as “domestic” workers. All three are no longer employed by the High Commissioner, The Black Star News has learned. Rwabyomere previously refused to take a phone call seeking comments on the matter. Uganda’s foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutessa, in a previous interview told The Black Star he wasn’t familiar with Karamagi’s case but would investigate the matter.

Karamagi says when Rwabyomere threw her into the streets a Ugandan Samaritan, Peter Zirintusa, took her into his care. “Shelter has been appropriate, but I had no medication to save her life, the only alternative, though she fears to be relocated, was to seek medical assistance from the hospital,” Zirintusa tells The Black Star.

Karamagi, who says Rwabyomere has not checked on her condition, is at Ward Plashet, in the hospital’s Zone 12. Karamagi says her problems with Rwabyomere started when the High Commissioner denied her repeated requests last year for medical treatment to address her diabetes.

“In my opinion anybody who inflicted injuries to such a nice young person, has committed a felony,” a doctor attending to Karamagi tells The Black Star.  “Even if that person is a diplomat; justice should take its course to have that person charged with criminal acts. We diagnosed that her beta cells were obliterated, it is very difficult for her kidneys to function. Her blood glucose level is not enough that is the reason why her feet and legs got swollen.”

Another doctor, John Connolly a Nephrologist consultant, UCL Centre for Nephrology, Royal Free Hamstead NHS Trust, says, “Evelyn underwent a renal biopsy to determine the cause of her renal disease, which showed features of advanced diabetic glomerulopathy.”



Investigative reporter Miwambo writes for The Black Star News from London.

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