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Kaweeri Coffee land grabbing case re-trial resumes as evictees continue to suffer gross human rights violations.



By Team

The re-trial of a 19-year-old Kaweeri Coffee land grabbing case resumes early this December 2019. Human rights groups have released a disturbing report which shows that Kaweeri Coffee evictees have suffered gross human rights violations ever since they were illegally and forcefully evicted from their land.

Kaweeri Coffee Plantation limited is a Ugandan coffee producer, wholly-owned by the Neumann Gruppe, which is a German coffee producer.

The re-trial which started early this year had been paused to allow both parties to have a settlement out of court known as mediation which has been encouraged by the judiciary in all civil cases. It’s at this court’s seating that the trial judge will be informed by its mediators whether the mediation failed or succeeded and they will file their mediation report which will guide the judge to either proceed with the re-trial or not.

On 28 March 2013, Justice Choudry Singh ruled that the plaintiffs were illegally evicted without being compensated adequately and thus ordered compensation of approximately €11 million to the evictees.  The judgement condemned the defendant’s behaviour for failing to take action yet they were informed about the planned evictions of the plaintiffs. 

The Judge, however, acquitted both defendants and ordered the Ugandan Investment Authority’s lawyers to pay the compensation awarded to evictees for allegedly misadvising the government to purchase the land. Kaweeri Coffee Plantation limited was dissatisfied with the ruling and thus appealed against it.  

The re-trial of this case is coming at a time when two sister organisations FIAN Germany and FIAN international who have been giving help to the affected victims of the eviction have released a report outlining gross human rights violations in the Kaweeri eviction case handling. This shows that this inhuman treatment has been noticed by the international community where Uganda is a member to the different treaties which uphold the protection of human rights.

The first-ever report released with a special focus on the Kaweeri eviction was carried out by the Ugandan army in August 2001, showed that there was a total violation of the right to education, health, rights to food, work, housing, and water and women rights among others.

“Living conditions and the human rights situation of evictees in the Kaweeri case – especially the right to food and nutrition – continue to worsen.” The report reads in part.

The report provides a description and analysis of human rights violations on the side of Uganda, extra-territorial obligations for Germany and abuses by Kaweeri Coffee Plantation Ltd. /Neumann Kaffee Gruppe in the forced eviction of the inhabitants of four Ugandan villages for the benefit of Kaweeri Coffee Plantation Ltd. 

Furthermore, the report pins the Germany government for failing to provide effective remedies and reparation to the affected communities in the Kaweeri case because of their direct and indirect involvement in NKG activities in Uganda.

FIAN decries the continued impunity of those responsible for the forced eviction and further perpetuation of human rights violations – in particular, violations of the right to food, water, housing, health, education, cultural life, justice, and specifically the rights of women.


Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.



The Commandant,

Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.

Dear Sir/Madam;


We act for and behalf of the Lawful and bonafide occupants of Land described as LRV MAS 2 FOLIO 8 BLOCK 8 PLOT 22 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS RANCH 22).

Our Clients are residents of Nyamutende Village, Kitwara Parish in Kiryandongo District where they have lived for more than 30 years and sometime in 2017, they applied for a lease of the said Land to Kiryandongo District Land Board through the Directorate of Land Matters State House.

As they were still awaiting their Application to be processed, they were shocked to establish that the said land had been instead leased to and registered in the names of Isingoma Julius, Mwesige Simon, John Musokota William, Tumusiime Gerald, Wabwire Messener Gabriel, Ocema Richard and Wilson Shikhama, some of whom were not known to the Complainants. A copy of the Search is attached hereto

Our clients protested the above action and appealed to relevant offices, but were shocked to discover that the above persons had gone ahead and sold the same to a one Maseruka Robert.

Aggrieved by these actions, the Complainants appealed to the RDC who advised them to institute proceedings against the said persons, and assigned them a one Mbabazi Samuel to assist them to that effect. The said Mbabazi accordingly filed Civil Suit Noa 46 of 2019 against tne said registered proprietors at Masindi High Court challenging the illegal and fraudulent registration, sale and transfer of the subject land to Maseruka Robert.

While awaiting the progress of the case mentioned hereinabove, the Complainants were surprised to find that the said Mbabazi, instead of assisting them, he went into a consent settling the said suit on their behalf without their knowledge or consent. A copy of the Consent is attached hereto.

Among the terms of the said consent Judgment was that the residents would be compensated without specifying how much and would in return vacate the Land.

As if that was not enough, Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel are going ahead to execute the said Consent Judgment by forcefully evicting the occupants without compensation which has prompted the complainants to challenge the said Consent by applying for its review and setting aside at Masindi High Court which is coming up for hearing on the 29th March 2023. A copy of the Application is attached hereto.

Sensing the imminent threat of eviction, we also filed an application for interim stay of execution of the said consent to avoid rendering their application for review nugatory but unfortunately the same could not be heard on the date it was fixed for hearing (6th February 2023). A copy of the Application is attached hereto

On Thursday last week, three tractors being operated by 6 workers of a one Mbabazi Samuel [the very person who had been entrusted to represent our Clients to secure their Land through Civil Suit No.46 of 2019] encroached close to 50 acres of our Clients’ land and started ploughing it but our Client’s protested and chased them away.

We have however been shocked to receive information from our Clients that on Sunday at Mid night, 3 police patrols invaded the community in the night and arrested community members; Mulenje Jack, Steven Kagyenji, Mulekwa David, Ntambala Geoffrey, Tumukunde Isaac 15 years, Kanunu Innocent, Mukombozi Frank, Kuzara, Rwamunyankole Enock, and took them to Kiryandongo Police Station where they are currently detained.

We strongly protest the illegal arrests and detention of our Clients as this is a carefully orchestrated land grabbing scheme by Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel who are  receiving support from the DPC Kiryandongo.

The purpose of this Letter therefore is to request your good office to investigate the misconduct, abuse of office and unprofessionalism of the said DPC Kiryandongo District and all his involvement in the land grabbing schemes on land formerly known as Ranch 22.

Looking forward to your urgent intervention,

C.C The Head Police Land Protection Unit Police Head Quarters Naguru

CC The RDC Kiryandongo District

CC The Chairman LCVKityadongo District

CC The Regional Police CommanderAlbertine Region

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The Executive Director of Witness Radio Uganda talks about the role played by Witness Radio in protecting communities affected by large-scale agribusinesses in Kiryandongo district in an interview with the ILC.



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Witness Radio Uganda wins the best CSO land rights defenders award at the National Land Forum Awards.



By Witness Radio Team

Uganda’s leading land and environmental rights watchdog, Witness Radio has been awarded the best CSO land rights defender award 2022 in the recently concluded National Land Forum Awards held last week at Mestil hotel in Kampala.

Witness Radio’s executive Director, Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala attributed the award to the community land and environmental rights defenders who stand up against the intimidation and different forms of harassment from land grabbers (economically powerful and politically connected companies and individual investors).

“This is an award for defenders at a community level. They work in very deadly environments filled with harassment, torture, death threats, arrest, trumped-up charges, and kidnaps among others to advocate for community land and environment rights. This is happening at a spate where criminalization and silencing of  community land rights defenders are at increase.” Jeff added.

The award has come at a time when hundreds of Ugandans in different parts of the country are accessing services provided by the organization ranging from legal service provisions, non-judicial mechanism engagements, empowerment to help them understand their rights, and using the same knowledge to use the same skills to push back against illegal and forced evictions

The chairman of the organizing committee of the second National Land Forum, Mr. Jimmy Ochom noted some progress on legislation in Uganda’s land Governance. He cited growing inequalities on land where the poor are more vulnerable.

During awards, the state minister for housing, Hon persis Namuganza revealed that the government approved the plan for 2018-2040 that maps the land use in the country.

According to the minister, the government had identified land for settlement, game reserves, wildlife, arable land for farming, and water bodies among others in the plan which she said was passed a few weeks ago.

The event was organized by Oxfam and partners and provided a platform for discussions by the different actors in the land sector on issues around land governance, including land rights, land administration, and land governance for improved collaboration, cooperation between the actors, and improved land service delivery for Ugandans under a theme “Taking stock of the National Land Policy in addressing Land inequality in addressing Land inequality in Uganda.”

Other categories of awards that were won by different organizations and individuals including Mr. Eddie Nsamba-Gayiiya for his contribution to research on land rights, Justice Centers Uganda for Promoting Access to Land Justice, and Mr. Henry Harrison Irumba for Championing Legal Reforms among others.

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