The complaint alleges that the Ugandan army forcefully evicted more than 2,000 people from their land to make way for a Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) coffee plantation.
According to the complaint, the residents land has been destroyed, forcing them to flee into the nearby forest, and no homes or other means of accommodation or compensation have been provided.
The complaint alleges NKG continues to produce coffee for export while the majority of the evictees have settled at the boarder of the plantation. They suffer from food shortages, lack of drinking water, inadequate health care, and a lack of money for school fees.
The evictees have asked NKG several times to support their struggle for compensation, but the company refuses to engage. The complainants also contend the company has tried to hinder a 2002 lawsuit filed by the evictees against NKG and the Ugandan government.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Version 2000 Chapter II
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.1
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.2
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.7
After conducting an initial assessment, the German NCP declared the case admissible in August 2009 and was successful in getting the parties together for a mediated discussion on 8 December 2010. The NCP also engaged other relevant government agencies and the German embassy in Kampala to provide input for the discussion.
On 30 March 2011, the NCP concluded the case and issued a final statement, in which it determined that the company was not in breach of the Guidelines. The NCP concluded that the company could not have known that the land it acquired was controversial. Furthermore, the NCP concluded that NKG had already taken measures to rectify the problems and praised the companys philanthropic activities. The NCP also called on the complainants to stop their “public attacks” on NKG.
The complainants felt the NCPs conclusion of the case was premature and not justified given that, in their view, a satisfactory resolution of the case had not been achieved. They also felt that the NCPs statement is biased toward the company, which they perceive to be a result of a potential conflict of interest due to the NCPs location. The complainants also rejected what they called the NCPs “attempts to stifle public criticism of the eviction and its consequences.”