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Kaweri Coffee (part of Neumann Gruppe) lawsuit (re forced eviction in Uganda)

Para la versión en español de este perfil de las demandas judiciales, haga clic acá.
coffee beans Christopher Michel, via Wikimedia Commons
In August 2002 a group of Ugandans filed a criminal complaint against Kaweri Coffee Plantation and the Ugandan Government alleging that human rights violations had been committed against them in Mubende district, central Uganda.  Kaweri is a Ugandan coffee producer, wholly-owned by the Neumann Gruppe, a German coffee producer.  The plaintiffs allege that on 17 August 2001 Ugandan military officials violently evicted them from their land, mistreated them and burned down their houses, in order to clear the land and lease it to Kaweri to establish a coffee plantation.  The plaintiffs demanded an independent land survey to determine the land’s real ownership, the restitution of their land, or adequate compensation.  

After several delays, the High Court of Uganda agreed to hear the case in July 2003.  The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants deliberately hampered the proceedings to discourage the plaintiffs.  The defendants deny the allegations.

In February 2013, the judge set a date for the final hearing that neither Kaweri representatives nor the Attorney General attended.  The defendants sought recusal of the judge assigned to the case, Choudry Singh, and pointed out that impeachment proceedings (previously filed by the defendants’ lawyers) against the judge were pending.  On 28 March 2013 the judge ruled that the plaintiffs had been illegally evicted without being compensated adequately and ordered compensation of approximately €11 million to be paid to the evictees.  The judgement condemns the defendant’s behaviour and states that Kaweri officials were informed that the plaintiffs were to be evicted.  The judgement, however, acquits both defendants.  The compensation is imposed on the Ugandan Investment Authority’s lawyers for allegedly misadvising the government to purchase the land.  The defendants as well as the lawyers appealed the verdict.  On 10 April 2013 the execution of the judgement was provisionally suspended by the Court of Appeal.  The appeal is pending.

- [German] “Landgrabbing mit Neumann”, Michael Enger, Freitag (Germany), 11 July 2013
- “Judge slaps Shs 37bn bill on lawyers“, Edris Kiggundu, Observer (Uganda), 31 Mar 2013

- Neumann Gruppe:
- “Chronology of events, Kaweri Coffee Plantation - 2000 to 2013 –“, 16 April 2013
Neumann Gruppe in Uganda

FIAN International:
- [video] “Interview with Peter Kayiira - Mubende Community Representative”,  24 Jun 2013
- “Ugandan court orders compensation be paid to evictees of the Kaweri-Coffee-Plantation”, 11 Apr 2013
- [video] “Coffee to go - with the taste of eviction”, Michael Enger, 20 Aug 2012
- [PDF] “The case Mubende”, Gertrud Falk and Wolfgang Sterk, March 2004

- High Court Of Uganda, “Baleke Kayira & 4 Ors v Attorney General & 2 Ors”, 28 Mar 2013

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Article
26 April 2014

[PDF] Steep Rise in Allegations of Human Rights Abuse as Boom in Investment Brings Hope of Prosperity

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In a new briefing paper...Business & Human Rights Resource Centre...identifies three key trends in companies’ human rights impacts in the region...Executive Director...Phil Bloomer said: “The threat of the infamous ‘Resource Curse’ hangs heavy over East Africa. Something is very wrong when a boom in inward investment...leads to [a] five-fold leap in allegations of company abuse...The good news is that Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania still enjoy vibrant civil society which demands that this investment benefits the many...and that a small group of companies is trying to show how responsible investment can protect and enhance...human rights..." Joseph Kibugu...principal author of the briefing, said: “The burgeoning discovery of natural resources and the growing multinational investment...is a window of opportunity to transform lives...[Bold] action is needed to ensure investments to contribute to alleviation of endemic poverty rather than compromising the dignity of locals.” [refers to AngloGold Ashanti, Japan Tobacco Intl., Philip Morris Intl., Barrick Gold, Johnson & Johnson, Safaricom, Bedford Biofuels, JPMorgan Chase, Sinovatio, Kaweri Coffee (part of Neumann Kaffee Gruppe), Strategic Friends Intl., British American Tobacco, Kenya Commercial Bank, Tanzania Breweries (part of SABMiller), China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), Kenya Pipeline Company, Thomson Safaris (part of Wineland-Thomson Adventures), DAO Group, MTN, Total, East African Mining/East African Gold, Tullow Oil, Eland Coal, Nevsun Resources, Unilever, Fenxi Mining Industry, Oil Palm Uganda (joint venture Bidco Uganda, Wilmar Intl.), Finfisher, Paladin Energy, ZTE, Gamma Group, PetroChina]

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Article
3 January 2014

Case profile: Kaweri Coffee (part of Neumann Gruppe) lawsuit (re forced eviction in Uganda)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre case profile for lawsuit filed in Uganda against Kaweri Coffee (part of Neumann Gruppe). The plaintiffs allege that Ugandan military officials violently evicted them from their land in 2001 to clear the land and lease it to Kaweri to establish a coffee plantation. The defendants deny the allegations.]

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Article
20 December 2013

[PDF] Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin – Issue 11, December 2013

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 11th issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. To assist all those following corporate legal accountability issues, we send this bulletin to highlight key developments, new cases profiled on our site, updates to existing profiles, and other news. Our Corporate Legal Accountability Portal is an online information hub providing resources for non- lawyers as well as lawyers – including victims, advocates, NGOs, businesspeople, lawyers bringing lawsuits against companies and lawyers defending companies. The portal provides impartial, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged – its aim is to demystify these lawsuits. Each case profile includes materials from both the plaintiffs and defendants, to the extent they are available...[Refers to African Rainbow Minerals, Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), AngloGold Ashanti, Argor-Heraeus, BP, Bull, CACI, Chevron, Davao Fruits, Ford, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, HudBay Minerals, IBM, Kaweri (part of Neumann Gruppe), Koh Kong Sugar, Lapanday Agricultural Development, Nestlé, Neumann Gruppe, Texaco (part of Chevron), Titan Corporation (now L-3 Services, part of L-3 Communications), Veolia Environnement, Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement)]

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Lawsuit
9 December 2013

Kaweri Coffee (part of Neumann Gruppe) lawsuit (re forced eviction in Uganda)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In August 2002 a group of Ugandans filed a criminal complaint against Kaweri Coffee Plantation and the Ugandan Government alleging that human rights violations had been committed against them in Mubende district, central Uganda.  Kaweri is a Ugandan coffee producer, wholly-owned by the Neumann Gruppe, a German coffee producer.  The plaintiffs allege that on 17 August 2001 Ugandan military officials violently evicted them from their land, mistreated them and burned down their houses, in order to clear the land and lease it to Kaweri to establish a coffee plantation.  The plaintiffs demanded an independent land survey to determine the land’s real ownership, the restitution of their land, or adequate compensation.  

After several delays, the High Court of Uganda agreed to hear the case in July 2003.  The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants deliberately hampered the proceedings to discourage the plaintiffs.  The defendants deny the allegations.

In February 2013, the judge set a date for the final hearing that neither Kaweri representatives nor the Attorney General attended.  The defendants sought recusal of the judge assigned to the case, Choudry Singh, and pointed out that impeachment proceedings (previously filed by the defendants’ lawyers) against the judge were pending.  On 28 March 2013 the judge ruled that the plaintiffs had been illegally evicted without being compensated adequately and ordered compensation of approximately €11 million to be paid to the evictees.  The judgement condemns the defendant’s behaviour and states that Kaweri officials were informed that the plaintiffs were to be evicted.  The judgement, however, acquits both defendants.  The compensation is imposed on the Ugandan Investment Authority’s lawyers for allegedly misadvising the government to purchase the land.  The defendants as well as the lawyers appealed the verdict.  On 10 April 2013 the execution of the judgement was provisionally suspended by the Court of Appeal.  The appeal is pending.

- [German] “Landgrabbing mit Neumann”, Michael Enger, Freitag (Germany), 11 July 2013
- “Judge slaps Shs 37bn bill on lawyers“, Edris Kiggundu, Observer (Uganda), 31 Mar 2013

- Neumann Gruppe:
- “Chronology of events, Kaweri Coffee Plantation - 2000 to 2013 –“, 16 April 2013
- Neumann Gruppe in Uganda

FIAN International:
- [video] “Interview with Peter Kayiira - Mubende Community Representative”,  24 Jun 2013
- “Ugandan court orders compensation be paid to evictees of the Kaweri-Coffee-Plantation”, 11 Apr 2013
- [video] “Coffee to go - with the taste of eviction”, Michael Enger, 20 Aug 2012
- [PDF] “The case Mubende”, Gertrud Falk and Wolfgang Sterk, March 2004

- High Court Of Uganda, “Baleke Kayira & 4 Ors v Attorney General & 2 Ors”, 28 Mar 2013

Article
+ Español - Hide

Author: Aquiescencia Blog de Derecho Internacional

El presente estudio esta dedicado al acaparamiento de tierras en torno a un caso ya notorio en la esfera internacional, el caso Mubende-Neumann...En síntesis, se trata de un proceso de evicción masiva ocurrido en 2001 en Uganda, donde su Gobierno, tras un acuerdo con la empresa, con sede en Hamburgo, procedió al desalojo especialmente cruento y violento de más de dos mil personas de las tierras que ocupaban, entregándoselas a una filial de aquélla, Kaweri Coffee Plantation, Ltd. Estos hechos dan...origen a un procedimiento judicial en Uganda y a otro en base a las Guías de la OECD para las Empresas Multinacionales, este último ante el llamado Punto Nacional de Contacto alemán, que son presentados en forma sintética...[Se refiere a Vedanta]

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Article
16 April 2013

[PDF] Chronology of events, Kaweri Coffee Plantation - 2000 to 2013 - [Germany/Uganda]

Author: Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (Germany)

[In 2001, Neumann Gruppe set up Kaweri Coffee Plantation in Uganda. According to the company, since its initiation, this project has been repeatedly subjected to unjustified accusations that focus on a misrepresentation of the relocation of a small group of individuals before the land of the farm was legally taken over by Neumann Gruppe. In the following document, Neumann Gruppe explains the actual circumstances:] Chronology of events, Kaweri Coffee Plantation - 2000 to 2013 -

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Article
11 April 2013

Ugandan court orders compensation be paid to evictees of the Kaweri-Coffee-Plantation

Author: FIAN International [Germany]

The High Court in...Uganda ordered that compensation in the amount of approximately eleven million Euros be paid to the 2,041 evictees of land now occupied by the Kaweri-Coffee-Plantation, which is owned by the German Neumann Gruppe...[T]he compensation is not demanded directly from the defendants themselves, but rather from the lawyers of the German investors...However, in his final remarks the judge harshly criticizes the German investors for neglecting their human rights duty to perform due diligence...“The German investors had a duty to ensure that our indigenous people were not exploited. They should have respected the human rights and values of people and as honorable businessman and investors they should have not moved into the lands unless they had satisfied themselves that the tenants were properly compensated, relocated and adequate notice was given to them,” the judgment states.

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Article
20 August 2012

[video] Coffee to go - with the taste of eviction [Uganda]

Author: Michael Enger, FIAN International (Germany)

On 19 August 2001, the Ugandan army forcefully evicted the population of several villages near Mubende from their land to make way for a coffee plantation. The Ugandan government leased the land to Kaweri Coffee Plantation Ltd., a subsidiary of the German company Neumann Kaffee Gruppe. To date, none of the evictees have been compensated, neither for their loss of land nor for the extreme state of emergency under which they have lived from the day the eviction took place...

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Article
26 March 2012

Uganda: FIAN urges German Neumann Kaffee Gruppe to settle land conflict peacefully

Author: FIAN

...In August 2001, the Ugandan army violently forced more than 2,000 people off their land in the district of Mubende. This land was then leased to Kaweri Coffee Plantation Ltd, a subsidiary of the German coffee company Neumann Kaffee Gruppe...The evictees have neither been compensated for the total loss of their land and properties nor for the hardship which they had to face after the eviction...

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