It sounds a bit sensational, but it’s true.
We need a work permit to operate in any capacity in Uganda. After several “payments” and visits to the appropriate people in the government, immigration today informed us that our request for a work permit has been refused. That means we’ll have to leave if it’s not sorted soon. According to the head of IT in the immigration office, “This resume looks very high-tech. There is no way this person can do these things without a degree or a certificate.”
He then proceeded to say that, “If he had an A+ certificate or something similar, it would be a different story.”
He can see that I’ve been involved in a dozen book projects. He can see that I’ve worked for the US government, taught at various universities and trained law enforcement the world over. But that’s not enough. As a college dropout, I “have nothing to offer Ugandans”.
I acknowledged the lunacy of the situation explaining that we train A+ in our center and asked if I could produce a self-signed certificate from our training center indicating that I had taken training. He said that “would help the situation”.
So a Ugandan certificate would better qualify me for the work here, I suppose.
He went on to explain that I should forge a certificate of some kind and “tender a particular payment” to “expedite the process”. Seriously?
Without the work permit, we can’t stay.
Is there anyone out there that would be willing to provide honorary certificates of some kind?
I know that really smart people sometimes get them from big-name universities, and I don’t for a moment consider myself to be on that level, but I’d rather go the route of honorary certificates than forge something.
But our time is running out. We’re scheduled to be in Mombassa at the end of next month, and the process of the work permit should take at least that long. If you’re interested, please email me or use the contact form. I’d really appreciate it.
Is it any wonder people burn out so easily working in developing countries?