Uganda: Kiryandongo Sugar Limited in another Covid-19 lockdown land grab

Witnessradio.org | 22 June 2020

Kiryandongo Sugar Limited in another Covid-19 lockdown land grab
Masindi – Uganda – Kiryandongo Sugar limited, a multinational agribusiness company, which has been dispossessing thousands since 2017 in Kiryandongo district, is grabbing another piece of land in the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. The 6000 Hectares are located in Masindi district, mid-western region in Uganda for another sugar plantation, witnessradio.org has established.
The land being grabbed is registered on Buluuli county, block 9, plot 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37 respectively, in Mirya sub County being occupied and cultivated by more than 2000 people.
Kiryandongo Sugar is owned by Rai dynasty operating agribusiness and timber activities in the DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi. One of its directors is a shareholder of a British Virgin Islands company, which was listed in the Panama Papers database.
According to witnessradio.org investigations, the multinational’s operations are being guarded by security personnel from national police and soldiers attached to Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) ’s 4th division. “We have documented commonalities in tactics and techniques in both Kiryandongo and Masindi forced evictions” Said the investigations team.
The team added that in both cases Kiryandongo Sugar has disregard due processes including failure to conduct community consultations, seeking consent from affected communities, and no valuation for properties on land the company wants to use for large-scale farming.
Like the former, Kiryandongo Sugar under the protection of security apparatus, enters on communities’ land by force with its workers and tractors to demolish houses and other properties.
Kinabwiiru Amos, not real name due to fear of retaliation said that Kiryandongo Sugar with armed soldiers and police personnel providing security to company laborers and tractors forcefully entered on their land during May of 2020 while the country is in the lockdown, and started destroying properties and plowing people’s gardens.
Its important to note that on 16th, April, 2020, the government of Uganda issued directives in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, ordering individuals and companies to halt evicting communities off their land.

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