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Archive for the tag “Kalangala”

UNDP: Decision on SECU Case No. SECU0002 – On Bidco connection to UN Global Compact (13.03.2017)

Ugandan farmers praise UN report citing flaws with Bidco (22.11.2016)

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The report acknowledges that a partnership with Bidco “could adversely damage UNDP’s reputation and the communities it seeks to help”

KAMPALA, Uganda, November 22, 2016Embattled Ugandan farmers fighting threats and land grabbing by Bidco have praised a draft report by U.N. investigators that calls into question the company’s business practices.

The report is the result of a complaint by the Bugala Farmers Association to the U.N.’s Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU).

The report can be found on the following link: APO.af/cWkh3e

In the complaint, the farmers stated that the United Nations had not performed sufficient due diligence on Bidco before inviting it to join Business Call to Action, which is part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The farmers provided evidence that Bidco has engaged in human rights, labour and environmental violations in the Kalangala District of Bugala Island, Lake Victoria, Uganda, where Bidco has grabbed land from smallholder farmers and cut down over 18,000 acres of rainforest to make way for a large-scale palm oil business.

The U.N. investigators found fault with the decision to invite Bidco into partnership with UNDP: “After the fieldwork and additional research, SECU concluded that the processes employed by UNDP for admission of Bidco were not consistent with UNDP policies.”

The report acknowledges that a partnership with Bidco “could adversely damage UNDP’s reputation and the communities it seeks to help”, and Bidco’s activities “may be considered risky”.

Kenya-based Bidco has tried to distance itself from the allegations of land grabbing and environmental destruction in Uganda, but the UNDP investigators found there is a clear link between the company’s corporate structure, overseen by CEO Vimal Shah, and operations in Uganda.

The investigators also determined that Bidco’s claim of not being involved in land acquisition in Uganda is not accurate. Bidco “knew of, relied on, and encouraged the purchase (of land) by the government.” Bidco Uganda also was “engaged in decisions and discussions related to the purchase,” the report says.

John Muyisa, a representative of the Bugala Farmers Association, commended the work of the U.N. investigators, who visited remote Kalangala District as part of their research.

“We are very pleased that the United Nations has performed an objective evaluation of its internal processes and determined that it is risky to partner with Bidco. The United Nations is a globally admired organisation, and it is absolutely correct that, as the report says, ‘Communities should be empowered’ and not be trodden upon by predator corporations like Bidco.”

In light of the report’s findings, the Bugala Farmers Association has called on the United Nations to terminate its partnership with Bidco.

Any member of the public can comment on the U.N. draft report until 7 December. The report can be found on the following link: APO.af/cWkh3e

Barclays and Standard Chartered picketed in London over Bidco business (23.08.2016)

Bidco Protest

Members of Prince Charles’ Banking Environment Initiative fail to cut ties with companies that deforest in Africa.

KAMPALA, Uganda, August 23, 2016 – East African protesters have taken to the streets of London to demonstrate against banks that do business with Bidco Africa, highlighting the connection between global financial institutions, The Prince of Wales and widespread deforestation in Africa.

Barclays and Standard Chartered saw their London headquarters picketed due to their funding of Nairobi-based Bidco, a company that cuts down thousands of acres of pristine rainforest in Uganda, and engages in human rights and tax violations in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Bidco Truth Coalition (No2Bidco.org), an activist alliance, has revealed that the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI), based at Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership under the patronage of The Prince of Wales, is failing in its mission to lead the banking industry in collectively directing capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development.

The BEI’s nine member banks are Barclays, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, Northern Trust, RBS, Santander and Westpac.

By signing up to BEI’s ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact, the nine banks have committed to only direct capital towards sustainable business models and achieve zero net deforestation among their client Companies.

Under BEI guidelines, member banks must drop clients that don’t measure up to socially and environmentally responsible policies.

Bidco Africa, which has engaged in multiple human rights, labour, tax and environmental violations, has publically stated that it does business with Barclays, Standard Chartered, Citibank, Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank.

Bidco owns an oil palm plantation that has deforested 18,000 acres of rainforest in Uganda. Bidco has also grabbed land from over 100 smallholder farmers.

The environmental impact of the palm oil project has led activists to call on the UN Global Compact to eject Bidco from its roster of members.

In 2004, the World Bank pulled out of Bidco’s Uganda project, citing violations of the World Bank’s anti-deforestation policies.

But BEI has remained silent, and Barclays, Standard Chartered and other banks continue to do business with Bidco Africa.

The Bidco Truth Coalition calls on BEI, its patron, The Prince of Wales, and BEI’s nine member banks to publically state that they will no longer do business with Bidco and other companies that destroy the environment.

Press Statement: Coalition of activists chart Bidco abuses on new platform No2Bidco.org (31.05.2016)

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Bidco Truth Coalition unites groups to demand accountability for Bidco

KAMPALA, Uganda, May 31, 2016 –  The Bidco Truth Coalition, an online activist organisation, has launched No2Bidco.org, a platform dedicated to charting the human rights and environmental violations of Bidco Africa, the Kenya-based edible oil producer headed by CEO Vimal Shah.

No2Bidco.org includes a catalogue of Bidco’s violations, including illegal labour practices in Kenya, deforestation in Uganda and tax evasion across East Africa. The platform also provides visitors with the ability to add their voices to a global campaign of petitions and letter-writing to reveal Bidco’s business practices.

No2Bidco.org’s central archive of independent reports about Bidco provides activists, businesses, governments and NGOs unfiltered access to information free from Bidco’s influence on the media.

No2Bidco.org includes a catalogue of Bidco’s violations, including illegal labour practices in Kenya, deforestation in Uganda and tax evasion across East Africa

The platform’s anchor organisation is the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), the respected Uganda-based Friends of the Earth affiliate. Other organisations include the Bugala Farmers Association, a Ugandan group of more than 100 farmers who lost their land to Bidco; Citizens for Tax Compliance, a Kenya-based group that advocates corporate tax compliance; the Association of Non-aligned Bidco Workers.

Founded in 1997, NAPE has been instrumental in giving a voice to farmers displaced by Bidco’s deforestation on Uganda’s pristine Ssese Islands. NAPE and its dedicated staff have a history of exposing corporations and governments that collude to earn vast sums of money at the expense of poor individuals.

The Bugala Farmers Association, which has successfully challenged Bidco in court for more than a year over its members’ loss of land, recently submitted a petition to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for partnering with Bidco. As a result, UNDP has launched an investigation into its partnership with Bidco.

The Association of Non-aligned Bidco Labourers is a group in Kenya and Uganda that gives informal representation to aggrieved casual workers at Bidco’s factories. Most workers supported have been terminated illegally, experienced abuse by Bidco management or been injured at the workplace.

The Bidco Truth Coalition invites other like-minded organisations to join the No2Bidco.org platform to demand change at Bidco and accountability for those who support the company.

UNDP to Investigate Rights Violations at BIDCO (Youtube-Clip)

The United Nations development program has deployed a team of experts to Kalangala district to investigate allegations of human rights violation by BIDCO Palm Oil Company. This follows the farmers’ petition to UNDP in November 2015 upon learning that the oil firm had been requisitioning for money from the UNDP for expositions. Now the investigative team says money will not be advanced till further notice” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016)

NRM Bus Company Ltd – “Ferrying crowds for the benefit of Party NRM-O”; In Service since 3. November 2015!

NRM Bus Company Limited

The National Resistance Movement Bus Company Limited started its operation on the Presidential Nominations Rally on the 3rd November 2015. The buses was used from the districts and picking up ‘Crime Preventers’ to the Campaign venue. As the successful launch was not without defects as the Company stranded the people in Kampala instead of ferrying them home.

The NRM Bus Company has verified the actual value of their “car-park” as they have 168 buses. Which is being used to serve the company and make sure they deliver people to the campaign venues; the people themselves don’t want to show up without being payed and getting a free ride there. The people who usually doesn’t attend the rallies as the villages and small towns to get to the main venues to see Bebe Cool, Jose Chameleone and the Executive Director of the NRM Bus Company Honorable Yoweri K. Museveni. The one man who has used some of his funds to start the company!  

Kayunga Buses 08.02.2016

In the November 2015 alone the Bus Company used UGX 140m on the expenses on the company side (Alliance for Campaign, 2015).

NRM Bus

Operational Launch of the Company:

On the initial launch of the company for the nomination rally the Company used the NRM Secretariat UGX 45m to have enough funds to get people from Lyantonde and Mubende to Kololo Independence Grounds on the 3rd November 2015. From the Area the Company had promised to send 15 buses, but only 9 showed up; so the Company did not deliver that day to expectation in the area. Buses from Kololo were also using the service of the Company from Kabale to the campaign venue.  

To the Luweero rallies the Buses was pre-occupied to get the people from the villages to the venues on the 9th November 2015. They ferried Crime Preventers that was stranded after the Kololo break-down to the rallies in Luweero.

On the 25th November the rally in Kotido town, where people from the villages had been ferried to; but the Company had also engagements in other parts to secure attendance for the party that owns the Company, though the delivery was sub-par in Kotido as the people we’re stranded as the Company was not prepared to facilitate people home on that occasion.

The Operation on 12th December the Company had a successful business as they used 30 buses from Mbale to Bududa. The ones that took the opportunity that day in Mbale got UGX 5k and free yellow t-shirt.

The Company suffered a big set-back in Mbale at 12th December as the truck-drivers was not fairly compensated or the former pledges of the NRM Company was not being kept. Even when a Government Official in the Region District Commander (RDC) was going to negotiate with the Company men, they still refused.

On the 18th December the Company had a sufficient delivery as the Campaign in Tororo was filled to the brim with no locals and that people from all corners was payed to attend the rallies that day. The people came the day before and Company surely did get people to the event on the 19th of December.

Yellow Buses Luweero 081115 NRM

On the 4th January in Kabale towards the main rally at the Kabale Stadium, from all around the villages in the district buses was travelling and giving money to attend the campaign rally. The amount of cost for this rally was expected to cost the company UGX 500m.

They had operations at the 6th January in 2016 to get people from Ntungamo to Rukungiri to make sure that the people arrived safely to the Rukungiri campaign venue. The worst part of the delivery was the village people who had joined and taken part of the services on the 6th January in Kihihi, was stranded at the Kihihi Police Station; so the Bus Company did not live up to expectations.

On the 10th January in Isingiro the Crime Preventers was the one who was attending the Campaing Rally, while the locals walked home, successful in the way the Company got Crime Preventers to the venue, but the locals did not use the service.

In January they had a central in Mbarara while making sure the affiliations and hired extended companies like 11th January the Global Buses to ship people to the Campaign venues. As the 13th January hired another buses to make sure they got people from the districts around the area to get people to Bushenyi.    

Mbarara Buses 12.01.2016

On the 2nd February the Company fixed trucks and buses to get people to the Sembabule rally of the owning party, but did not facilitate to get people home, as they we’re stranded, the Company was off to other engagements and rallies; was also not ordered to get people back home after the rally.

On the 4th February the Company used it resources and got people as far as Kalangala to be a part of the rally at Masaka. They used rented and owned trucks from the long distance areas to make the full with people.

On the 8th February to be able to have enough people for the rallies that day, the Bus Company had operations in the Busoga Region, giving T-Shirts and UGX 20k and the ride to the campaign venues of the day. As the locals that day would not attend on the rallies there.

On the 10th of February the Company had troubles with the arrangement and buses where in the shop so the service delivery was substandard and therefore the amount of people at rallies in Entebbe as the mechanical problems destroyed the result of the company that day.

On the 11th February the Company had hired Global to be successful again getting people from Mbarara to Kampala to attend the venue graced by the company.

Kampala NRM 12.02.2016

Today (12.02.2016)  in Kampala the NRM Bus Company have been busy with offering ferrying services from Central Parts of city to Kawempe main rally, as the operations drops UGX 5k as the Bus Service was in operations in Kampala.

Basic Part of the Operation of the NRM Bus Company Limited: 

As we see the operations since the beginning has not been perfect, but that is to blame for the mobilisers who has not address the central organizations as Mike Ssebalu as the NRM Campaign Task Manger or Gen. Tukumunde “the money man” who hasn’t fixed the money from the owning party. As the NRM Bus Company is not yet a fully functional enterprise or limited company as it will be after the 19th February. Then the NRM Bus Company Limited will both dissolve and sell the buses, so they can be customized for those who want the buses that have tested the worst roads of the country while driving from village to village. Our main spokesman in Ofwono Opondo who will delegate the issues that you have through the Uganda Media Centre, while Jim Muhwezi and his men in the Ministry of Information and National Guidance, as they take the questions you may have on the NRM.ug as that is in their working title. So the Press if they have issues should either address Hon. Opondo or Hon. Muhwezi. The Executive will just address the bus-matter if the participation is fully in his hand and not set standards by anybody else. If you have issues with procurement or allocations as the party sometimes as owner delivers the payments slow, be assured the Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda will come with the necessary facilitation to make sure the venue and people have the money that they deserve for being a part of the Bus Company, A customer and also a citizen at the same time. Peace.

Reference:

Alliance for Campaign – ‘MONITORING CAMPAIGN EXPENSES DURING THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD’ – PROGRESS REPORT NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2015

Presidential candidates back on the trail after Papal visit.. +NRM Primaries & Tamale Mirundi etc

CCEDU Topowa

The Papal Visit is over and KCCA can chill before trying to nibble on the fact that Erias Lukwago will start his campaign tomorrow. FDC travels to Pader today. Amama Mbabazi is suspending his campaign again. NRM, I am sure starting tomorrow. There are reports of crowds buying from them and also yet more information on the NRM Primaries(a tale that doesn’t seem to end). The Deflections from NRM continues to other parties. And not so much the other way around, if you take the exaptation of UPC-Akena to NRM. But that doesn’t count at this point. Let’s take a look!

Quote of the day:

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni: “I have no problem meeting Besigye or anyone, I am for Uganda and Africa”.

Reports before NRM Rallies:

There been rumored of advance teams of NRM and Museveni in Teso Sub-region where they already spending money on the people in the area to get them to attend the NRM rallies in the area. Each Constituency in the area was delivered 20 Million shillings to achieve the numbers that the NRM wished to see at the venues and rallies.

Use of Football stars to verify the Western support for Museveni-Regime:

“Uganda Tourism Board has payed millions of dollars to Barcelona football stars to come to Uganda as tourists but in reality they are supposed to appear on Museveni’s political rallies in Central and Western regions of the country. The football stars already in Uganda include Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Louis Garcia, Simao Sabrosa and others. This is designed to give Museveni maximum world wide exposure to fool the West that Museveni is still popular in the country, and the opposition would not be in a position to scream election rigging. They are scheduled to appear with Museveni from Dec 8th through Dec. 12th”.

ofwono

Ofwono Opondo saying about TVO:

“”Tom Voltaire Okwaliga is Tamale Mirundi , all that you see on Facebook are posted by Tamale Mirundi but he disguises in the name of TVO” (…)”Of all Tom Okwalinga’s 40,000 followers no one has ever seen him physically. We have proved without doubt that TVO is Tamale Mirundi” (…)”you’re asking me proof?? if you want proof, arrest Tamale Mirundi for some days and you will never see a post on Facebook by Tamale I mean by TVO”.

Padre 29.11.15

FDC on the Trail in Padre:

“This is the first time uganda is going to remove a president without using gun” said Dr. Kizza Besigye as he addresses a mammoth crowd in Pader Town Council

Lukwago-Eria

Invite to Erias Lukwago’s mayoral rally tomorrow:

“Monday 30th November 2015 at Nakasero Market Park yard at 2:00 pm as we launch our campaign platform. The program is organised in strict compliance with the EC harmonised campaign calendar. It’s truism that transformation of Kampala into a modern metropolis befitting the pearl of Africa will always be a mirage unless we cultivate a culture of democratic and corporate governance in the way we run public institutions. It’s for that sole reason that the policy agenda we’re unveiling tomorrow revolves around institutional building, creating strong and vibrant systems of accountable governance, strategic planning and prioritisation, social justice and equity as well as building viable synergies that will engender the much desired sustainable transformation of our capital city. Come One Come All”.

Amama 17.11.15 Poster

NRM Primaries continues:

In Rubaga North MP the contested candidate for the region has been taken to court and therefore blocked his nomination. That means that Singh from the Rubaga North can’t stand as a candidate for MP for the area, and that leaves NRM without a candidate for the area unto the 2016 General Elections.

Second report:

“533 declared NRM parliamentary primaries’ losers have now picked forms to run as Independents. Out of these 17 are serving ministers and ministers of state, while 69 are current Members of Parliament”.

Third Report:

Go-Forward and Amama Mbabazi are holding talks with 44 MPs who lost their nominations and candidacy in the NRM Primaries to give them a place under the Go-Forward Group under the election in 2016.

Message from Amama Mbabazi:

“Dear Friends” (…)”I would like to inform you all that we will have a slight postponement of the next leg of our campaign tours. This is as a result of my travel to visit with my wife and her anticipated return this week”.

Elton Joseph Mabirizi 17.11.15

PLEASE DONATE TO THE MABIRIZI CAMPAIGN

We appreciate all the financial contributions you are making to the Mabirizi TIC Presidential Campaign. Over the weekend, we returned from Eastern Uganda over the weekend. This week till Friday, we are in Kampala divisions and will leave on Saturday for Kalangala, Masaka, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu, Sembabule and Lwengo. A team of 15 campaigners will spend 8 days and nights in the field before returning to Butambala again.

We really need money for this extended campaign leg. We need fuel, car maintenance, water, food, accommodation, posters, and communication.

Please send your generous contributions to:

MTN: 0772 411 491

Airtel: 0702 411 491

You may want to call to confirm receipt or send a separate message to the same numbers, if you did not send for your own phone.

Thank you for your support to the struggle for an better Uganda.

Enough right?

I think that was interesting enough for today. Peace.

Land Grab – Uganda’s farmers battle with palm oil producers and insights to the business.

What the Ministry of Agriculture press release earlier this august:

The Press Statement from the Government of Uganda

Here is another blogger who has followed the land grabbing and has great article:

BIDCO Oppressed poor Ugandans

And a few sheets of information to prove that their more to this business then just some words here and there!

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Another fact sheet as well:

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More information read this:

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Peace!

Press Statement: Statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries – Government of Uganda repudiating VODP-BIDCO, Kalangala Land Grabbing Allegation (August 2015)

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