By Elema R
Yumbe-Chaos ensued at world vision offices on Tuesday afternoon at Bidibidi refugee reception centre in Yumbe district as the distribution assistants clashed with their employers over their suspension from work.
Twenty nine distribution assistants recruited by world vision were reportedly suspended by world vision officials on allegation of theft of food items which the workers denied.
The matter was brought to the attention of the district officials and in an effort to resolve the matter in a meeting with the world vision officials on Monday, they accepted to reinstate the workers but on Tuesday the affected workers were called only to tell them that the decision to terminate their contracts was irreversible.
One of the youths who was arrested by policemen during the chaos in Bidibidi. Photos by Elema R
Alima Orodriyo one of the affected staffs said they didn’t know why they were suspended. “The allegation on theft of food items and indiscipline was not true but the criteria they used was wrong and they don’t have defense and evidence on what they have alleged but they work on rumors, she said.
Abubaker Musiho the district Police Commander confirmed the incident saying the police averted more destruction ad they would remain alert to stop further violence.
The workers, mainly youths, then organised themselves and stormed world vision offices at the reception centre. The matter sparked off violence at the reception centre resulting into assault of world vision officials, destruction of computers and phones during the incident.
This has at the moment led to the temporary closure of world vision offices and suspension of distribution of food items to the refugees.
Some of the South Sudanese refugees with the food supplied to them at Bidibidi
Jane Alejo Yumbe district secretary for social services said: “We wanted world vision to reinstate the suspended workers as they continue to investigate the allegation on the theft of food items but they didn’t heed to our advice. We want world vision offices to be closed and they should leave food distribution process with immediate effect and world food program should take over the distribution process.”
Robert Baryamwesiga the settlement commandant at Bidibidi said the workers went to attack world vision officials who appointed them instead of following official channels saying it was indiscipline.
“What the staff has done was indiscipline. Nobody can disorganize this activity of food distribution and we shall arrest whoever wants to cause chaos and prosecute them in courts of law. We shall ensure that there is enough security at the time of distributing the food,” he said.
Mr Emmanuel Eriyo the program manager of world vision said they were still investigating the matter. “I am on ground but right now for a fact finding mission of what happened. It will be unfortunate for me to give a report which is not comprehensive but after getting facts, it will be easy for me to give correct statement on the matter,” he said.
The fate of the refugees in Zone Five remains unclear as food distribution had not reached them. The distribution has been halted.