Court dismisses case challenging Vinci Coffee deal

Court dismisses case challenging Vinci Coffee deal

The High Court in Kampala has dismissed an application challenging the agreement by government and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited to export Uganda’s coffee.

Lawyers Michael Aboneka and Henry Byansi dragged the Attorney General and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited to court seeking for declaration that the actions of the Minister of Finance to secretly handpick Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited at the detriment of other able Ugandan firms to singly manage the production, export and setting prices of coffee beans and related products were illegal and created a monopoly.

The two lawyers also sought a declaration that failure by the Finance Minister to follow all legal and administrative processes and to make adequate consultations with the Solicitor General and  Ministry of Agriculture among others  was illegal, null and void and therefore orders stopping government from implementing the agreement be issued.

On Thursday, Justice Emmanuel Baguma reasoned with the Attorney General’s response that parliament in May had adopted the report of the sectoral committee on tourism, trade and industry which recommended that government reviews the coffee deal.

“Basing on the above analysis, it is apparent that the due process of the entire Deed of Amendment and Restatement of the Project Implementation Agreement dated February,10, 2022 is still on going. I therefore do not find any reason whatsoever to interfere with the matter which is being investigated by parliament. It is my view that parliament should be left to do its work. In conclusion, it is my considered view that this matter was brought before court pre maturely since due process was still ongoing,” Justice Baguma ruled.

The judge therefore noted that there is nothing that requires judicial review as had been requested for in the application by the two lawyers since parliament directed a review of the coffee deal.

“In the final analysis, this application is dismissed.”

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