Ugandan Farmers Urge UN to Sever Ties with Bidco Africa

Head Of Inter Religious Council of the south western Kigezi region and celebrated veteran politician Fr Gaetano Batanyenda, sildenafil has congratulated Forum for Democratic Change’s unsuccessful candidate Col Dr Kizza Besigye upon “winning” last week’s presidential election.

The priest of Kitanga Catholic Parish in Kabale district, visit this site who previously served in the local district council as speaker, said he was happy that Dr Kizza Besigye won the 2016 presidential elections, despite the declaration coming out otherwise.

Besigye was announced runner up in the presidential election, trailing the incumbent Yoweri Museveni 35% to 60% of the vote respectively.

Besigye is looking to challenge the Saturday evening results in courts of law.

In a short message on Sunday evening, Fr. Gaetano hailed the “people of Uganda that stood in long queues to vote for change.”

“You massively did your job, and accurately won in over 78 districts,” he said. “I know the dictator and his few supporters will celebrate their rigged victory in shame and in total darkness.”

The man of God suggested that President Museveni, and the NRM’s victory was not sanctioned by God but “dictated by mere Kiggundu and sons instructed by Museveni through their dubious satanic ways that the whole world has witnessed.”

Gaetano also prayed for candidate Yoweri Museveni

Gaetano also prayed for candidate Yoweri Museveni

“I mourn for my country, and I know over 10million voters and none voters out there are mourning not because that you have lost the election but because the small selfish group of Museveni with GUNS have denied you victory through highest level of vote rigging beyond human understanding,” he ranted.

“To Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye, you will forever be Uganda’s Hero! May God Bless you!”

Father Batanyenda in the build up to the February 18th election laid hands on President Yoweri Museveni wishing him luck in the race, as well as his opponents Col Kizza Besigye and Go Forward candidate Amama Mbabazi.
The Bugala Farmers Association has called on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to sever its ties with Bidco Africa, discount a Kenya-based edible oil producer accused of land-grabbing, this human rights violations and environmental disasters in Uganda, help Kenya and Tanzania.

Over 100 farmers lost their land to Bidco when, in partnership with the local government, the company deforested more than 7,500 hectares (18,500 acres) of rain forest and smallholder farms on Bugala Island on Lake Victoria to make way for one of the largest palm oil plantations in Africa.

In a petition delivered to the UNDP Kampala office on 28 January, the Bugala Farmers Association called on the UNDP to investigate the organisation’s recent announcement that Business Call to Action (BCtA), a UNDP offshoot, concluded an agreement with Bidco Africa.

“For those who know the real business practices of Bidco Africa and its CEO Vimal Shah, the embrace by BCtA of Bidco Africa is a tragedy for smallholder farmers and a major stain on the reputation of UNDP,” the petition says.

The petition cites Bidco Africa’s failure to comply with court orders to compensate the farmers for their land; the company’s labour practices in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya; alleged tax evasion in Kenya; and the deforestation of land for its palm oil production in Uganda.

The deforestation has become so bad that the World Bank, originally a sponsor of the project, had to withdraw its support.

“The Bugala Farmers Association calls on UNDP and its senior leadership to examine the morally questionable association of such a distinguished U.N. organisation with such a blatant violator of human rights that is Bidco Africa,” the petition says.

Bidco, owned by the family of billionaire manufacturer Vimal Shah, has come under heavy criticism over allegations of land grabbing and displacement of thousands of people in Kalangala District of Uganda.

The firm uses the harvest as raw materials for the production of edible oils that are sold across Eastern Africa.

The Ugandan government recently said it was solely responsible for the acquisition of the land for the project.

“This was our exclusive role as per the partnership agreement,” officials said in 2015.

Business practices

However, according to the petition, “The evidence of Bidco Africa’s poor business practices is well documented, and UNDP must immediately disassociate itself with such a company.”

The petition continues: “Bidco Africa, which claims to adhere to the U.N. Global Compact, is in fact in violation of all U.N. Global Compact principals, from human rights to protection of the environment. Against the backdrop of such repeated violations, the UNDP/BCtA’s partnership with Bidco Africa is a violation of UNDP’s core mission and principals.”

When the farmers presented their petition at the UNDP office in Kampala, security officers blocked them at the compound gate and confiscated video filmed by accompanying media. UNDP officials refused to meet the farmers, and suggested that the petition – which is addressed to UNDP Administrator Helen Clark – could only be delivered at the organisation’s headquarters in New York City.

Only after a four-hour wait was the petition officially received by a UNDP receptionist in Kampala.

In addition to Administrator Clark, the petition is addressed to Peter Liria, Chief Ethics Officer, Director of the Ethics Office; Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Director Regional Bureau for Africa; and Mila Rosenthal, Director of Communications; among others.

The UNDP has not responded to the farmers’ petition since it was presented on 28 January.


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