Bidco | The Gift That Keeps On Giving

When we talk of gifts that keep on giving, a few months ago, many families in Kalangala woke up one morning without a source of income. The largely peasant farming community have cried out to whoever can help them get their 18,000 acres of farm and forest land back without much success.

However, thanks to National Association of Professional Environmentalists  (NAPE) for coming to their aid. NAPE has provided support to the farmers. By organising funds and resources to sue BIDCO.

Newspaper pullout about the lawsuit

Award-winning Kenyan blogger Cyprian Nyakundi published an expose on Bidco in Kenya and he claims that Shah (CEO, Bidco) has threatened his life if he does not remove the information from his popular website and Twitter feed. All thoughts have been shared under the hashtag #VimalRejected

This is what we have been able to learn about BIDCO’s undertakings in Kenya,

Bidco workers begun to speak out about the company’s neglect of safety measures and Shah’s reaction to labour unrest: firing all employees who demand better workplace conditions. Workers also accuse Bidco of inflating the number of people it employs full time. They (workers) say that the majority of them are poorly paid “casuals” whose shifts are deliberately altered and made longer to allow Bidco to avoid making them salaried employees with social benefits.

Bidco is facing a class action lawsuit brought by more than 50 former workers in Kenya who claim they were unfairly dismissed in May (this year) after protesting workplace conditions.

Bidco, the unequal opportunity employer:

Bidco Oil Refineries Company will have to pay Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over Sh1.3 billion ~ according to StandardMedia.

On Monday, 5th October 2015 at Claridge’s, a 5-star London hotel, Vimal Shah, the Chief Executive of Bidco Oil Refineries was abruptly pulled out of the prestigious London investment conference by the organisers in order to avoid protesters (that had gathered) from picketing at the company and its CEO’s human rights record.

Shah’s name was dropped from the list of speakers at the last minute without any explanation. Interestingly, he had been promoted on the Financial Times’ website for several months as a featured speaker on a panel called, “The West Versus the Rest.” The Africa Summit is known to attract global CEOs and former ministers of African countries.


East African protesters in London

So we ask, does the government really investigate these foreign investors?

With such a reputation, poor Uganda was so quick to offer them opportunities at the cost of its people. Sadly, Kalangala people are already paying heavily for someone’s negligence.

On that note, from 14th October 2015 (set date for the hearing at the high court) we will follow this case and treat you all to exclusive information and proceedings from court.


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