Security has closed two
commercial farms owned by Indians in Nwoya district for alleged breach of labor
laws and sexually harassment.
affected are Rigil Farms Limited and Vineyak
Agro Farms Limited. Rigil Farm Limited sits on 14,300 acres of land found
in Lukai, Leb Ngec, Alingiri and Anaka parishes in Alero Sub County.
It specializes in cotton production while Vineyak
Agro Farms Limited is located in Nyamokino parish in Lungulu Sub County.
It sits on 6,000 acres of land and involved the production of
beans, coffee and millet.
Tony Okello, the Speaker Nwoya District, says
the decision to close the farms was prompted by a council resolution passed on
Tuesday following the shocking discovery of rights violations on the farms.
He says council learnt that the farms employ children as
young as eight years to work without proper protective gears and employment
Okello says a council committee visited the farms and
discovered that workers we receiving inhuman treatment without proper feeding.
He says some of the owners of the farms were implicated for sexually harassing their
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Okello says council resolved to punish the proprietors
of farms violating labor laws with fines of Shillings 500,000 and compensation
of their employees Shillings 10 Million.
Nwoya District LC V chairperson, Patrick Okello Oryema, says they
have directed Police to investigate some of the investors in the district for noncompliance
with immigration laws.
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proprietors of the farms haven’t yet commented as they couldn’t be reached by
the time of filing this story.
Nalubyayi, an Advocacy Officer with Save the Children in Uganda has asked Nwoya
District local government to regulate the activities of children on commercial
She says their rapid assessment discovered that most of
commercial farms in Nwoya thrive on exploitation and abuse of child labourers
in contravention of stipulated laws.
Andrew Ocen, the Police Officer in-charge of the Child and Family
protection unit in Nwoya district, says 21 cases of child labor were reported
in the district in 2018.
He says the office is incapacitated in terms of
logistics to arrest the situation.
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Most victims are reported to be from Amuru, Tororo, Pakwach,
Mbale, Dokolo, Lira, Arua and Nebbi district.
Nwoya district has
about 35 commercial farms, according to the rapid assessment report of the Save
the Children in Uganda.