For more than two decades, evictees from Mubende District in Uganda have sought compensation for their brutal displacement from a vast tract of land that was converted into a plantation to supply coffee beans to the world’s top trader of the commodity. While some are shortly due to receive compensation, others are awaiting a June court hearing on their claims.
The CEDAW committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women raised concerns earlier this year over “the still outstanding settlement of the incident in court” and highlighted the “dispossessions of land owned by women and forced evictions of women, who constitute three quarters of the workforce in the agricultural sector.”
It called on Uganda to:
- Establish a legal framework to ensure that agro-industrial projects and the activities of extractive industries do not undermine rural women’s rights to land ownership and their livelihoods and ensure that such ventures are permitted only after gender-impact assessments involving rural women have been undertaken;
- Ensure that evictions are court-ordered and subject to strict procedural safeguards in line with international standards, and expedite court proceedings for prompt and adequate compensation and rehabilitation in the Mubende land evictions case, while observing the principle of separation of powers;
- Ensure that perpetrators of violent acts against women in fishing communities are prosecuted and adequately punished, including through a referral for criminal proceedings under the Leadership Code Act 2002, where appropriate, decriminalize fish smoking and support the development of alternative agro-processing economic activity for rural women;
On August 17, 2001, the Ugandan army began violently evicting over 4,000 villagers from 2,524 hectares of land in Kitemba, Luwunga, Kijunga and Kiryamakobe.
Authorities ordered the eviction to make way for a 99-year lease of the area to Kaweri Coffee Plantation Ltd., owned by the Germany-based Neumann Kaffee Gruppe.
FIAN will continue to monitor the implementation of the CEDAW recommendations to Uganda – including those related to alleged witchcraft and violence against fisherfolk – to ensure that the rights of women in Uganda are fully protected and respected.
For queries and additional information, contact Valentin Hategekimana, FIAN International Africa coordinator at email@example.com.