By witnessradio.org Team
Masindi – High Court in Masindi on October 2nd, will deliver a ruling on a temporary injunction application seeking to stop a multi-million agribusiness company from forcefully evicting over 2300 families.
The upcoming ruling will be the second attempt by the families to seek an injunction from the same court before the main case is heard and later determined. The first challenge to stay the eviction via an interim application was thrown out by Justice Frank Albert Rugadya Atwoki on grounds that the applicants “failed to produce evidence that the situation is direly warranting an injunction.”
The long and painful process of fixing the date comes after 20 months when the impoverished families first dashed to court challenging their eviction which is superintended by Agilis partners limited, an agricultural development company owned by American twin brothers Philipp Prinz and Benjamin Prinz.
The case stems from a 2018 move by native communities who dashed to the High Court accusing Agilis Partners scheming with Uganda Police and Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) to forcefully grab their land for agribusiness.
Agilis Partners, which owns Joseph Initiative a beneficiary of DFID financial support and CFC based in the Netherlands, supplies food to World Food Program among others.
According to Joseph Walekula, one of the leaders of Nyamalebe Landless Association said the date came as a result of protests at Masindi High Court which had shelved their injunction application. “Originally, they (court officials) had issued date of which after our cross-checking, we realized that such a date would fall on a Sunday and when we informed them they showed no remorse,” said Walekula.
An independent investigation by witnessradio.org indicates Agilis is using grabbed land already which is part of the 2100 hectares to grow sim- sim, maize and soya beans. And through this project, it wants to empower 50,000 farmers from neighbouring communities with modern farming skills. The same company pledged Shs. 1 billion equivalent to about USD 250,000 earmarked as community development budget for extension services, training centres, schools, hospitals and infrastructure development among others.
Besides dealing in supplying of grains to different agencies including the World Food Program, Agilis, through Joseph Initiatives, has benefited from the financial assistance of international agencies like UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).