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Human Rights Update

25TH OCTOBER, 2020

Allegations about Kakuzi Plc in Kenya

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Allegations about Kakuzi plc in Kenya

An article appeared (Sunday 25 October) in the UK’s Sunday Times which referred to allegations of criminality by staff at Kakuzi plc, a Kenyan farming company in which Camellia invests. 

No one should underestimate the seriousness with which Camellia is taking these allegations. We invest in companies that farm the land, support the welfare of employees, and play a role in feeding, housing, educating and caring for local communities. We know how vital this is to the livelihoods of many thousands of people – in Kenya and elsewhere.  So claims like these, even if only a handful are proven, have shocked us to the core.

We are taking urgent action. Camellia’s governance and safeguarding arrangements are being reviewed, and we are setting up a Safeguarding and Stewardship Committee of Camellia’s Board of Directors. We are pushing the Boards of the companies we invest in to look at their own procedures, and where necessary make urgent operational changes to prevent incidents like those alleged from arising.  This includes properly investigating any such claims, dealing with any staff who have done wrong, and compensating anyone who has been harmed. 

Meanwhile, we are urgently exploring with UK law firm Leigh Day (which is bringing legal claims based on allegations of wrongdoing by Kakuzi's security guards) whether their clients' claims can be quickly resolved as this would help ease the tensions in Kenya that have recently been mounting.

Camellia will continue to do all it can to ensure that Kakuzi and other companies it invests in operate to the highest standards of governance.

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