Human Rights Update

11TH OCTOBER, 2020

Response to UK newspaper article regarding Kakuzi

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The welfare of the people in the group and those working in our investee companies is very important, as we hope is clear from our values and our culture as shown by the examples in our ESG report Custodianship in Action.  Kakuzi is a Kenyan farming company, quoted on the Nairobi stock exchange and is led by Kakuzi’s Board of Directors on behalf of its 3000 employees and 1300 (mostly Kenyan) shareholders.  Camellia bought a 50.7% stake in the 1990s but we don’t have operational or managerial control, nor control of the Board. 

As we and indeed anyone would expect, Kakuzi is investigating the very grave allegations made in this article.  The legal claims have been brought on a no-win no-fee basis by UK law firm Leigh Day in the UK.  Leigh Day is not a licensed Kenyan law firm and so cannot bring the claims in Kenya despite the fact Kenya has a very well respected and accessible personal injury legal system.  

Kakuzi is investigating the allegations so that if there has been any wrongdoing, those responsible for it can be held to account and if appropriate, safeguarding processes can be improved.  What the article did not mention is that Kakuzi also has in place a fully funded alternative dispute resolution process so that anyone who feels they have been mistreated can get independent legal advice and support, paid for by Kakuzi, with anonymity provided.

Kakuzi plc has responded to the Sunday Times in more detail on the Kakuzi plc website.

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