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19 Feb 2015

Oil Palm Uganda lawsuit (re land grabs in Uganda)


Date lawsuit was filed
19 Feb 2015
Ort der Einreichung: Uganda
Ort des Vorfalls: Uganda
Art des Rechtsstreits: Inländisch


Oil Palm Uganda Uganda Palmen & Palmöl


Snapshot: In 2015, three ugandan farmers and two NGOs, brought a lawsuit on behalf of their community against Oil Palm Uganda before the court in Masaka, Uganda over alleged land grabs. The case is ongoing.

Factual Background

Three Ugandan farmers from Lake Victoria’s Bugula Island, Kalagala District, accused Oil Palm Uganda of land grabs. The company is 90% owned by Bidco Uganda -- a joint venture of Wilmar International, Josovina Commodities and Bidco Oil Refineries, a Kenya-based company. Wilmar International holds at least 39% of the shares in Oil Palm Uganda and is providing technical expertise.

Legal Argument

The three Ugandan farmers allege that their land was taken for the development of an oil palm plantation.  They are seeking restitution for their land as well as compensation loss of income.  The plaintiffs claim that they are left with no source of income following the taking of their land.

Legal Proceeding

On 19 February 2015, the three farmers, backed by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and Friends of the Earth, brought a lawsuit on behalf of their community against Oil Palm Uganda before the courts of Masaka, Uganda. The plaintiffs are waiting for a hearing date.

The land grab claims against Oil Palm Uganda are associated with the “Vegetable Oil Development Project” initiated by the Government of Uganda with the oversight and financing of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  Oil Palm Uganda was invited to participate in the project as a private-sector partner.

- Kalangala residents decry land grabbing on islands, Henry Lubulwa, Daily Monitor (Uganda), 6 May 2015
- Ugandan farmers take on palm oil giants over land grab claims, Alon Mwesigwa, Guardian (UK), 3 Mar 2015
- UN, banks and oil palm gihttps://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/un-banks-and-oil-palm-giants-feast-on-the-stolen-land-of-ugandas-dispossessed/ants feast on the stolen land of Uganda's dispossessed, Anne van Schaik & Oliver Tickell, Ecologist (UK), 19 Feb 2015

Wilmar International:
- Wilmar affirms commitment to open, transparent & responsible practices, 1 Dec 2013

Friends of the Earth:
- Ugandan oil palm project taken to court over land-grab claimhttps://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/ugandan-oil-palm-project-taken-to-court-over-land-grab-claims/s, 19 Feb 2015