Bidco Africa denounces London protesters


 Bidco Africa has said protesters that demonstrated outside Standard Chartered and Barclays Banks in London on Tuesday are con artists trying to blackmail the company.

The East African protesters took to the streets of London on Tuesday to demonstrate against banks that do business with Bidco Africa, highlighting the connection between global financial institutions, the Prince of Wales and widespread deforestation in Africa.

Barclays and Standard Chartered saw their London headquarters picketed due to their funding of Nairobi-based Bidco, a company that cuts down thousands of acres of pristine rainforest in Uganda, and engages in human rights and tax violations in Kenya and Tanzania.

Bidco says it has been fighting an anonymous and faceless group of online con artists masquerading as activists for over a year.

The group has been harassing the company and its partners on social media and via email. It has also been staging fake protests in various locations.

The London Protests lack credibility according to the company.

“These guys are just bodies for hire. If you watch the video the incredible thing is they cannot even get the company name right. They are protesting against ‘Bisco’ and ‘Vamil Shah’, that tells you all you need to know about these people,” CEO Bidco Vimal Shah explains.

“At one point they asked for $500,000 (Sh50 million) to stop the harassment and we said no and so they have kept coming,” he said.

“There is no activism here. We know who is behind it and what they hope the pressure will lead to but we will not buckle, we will not give in to extortion,” added Shah.

“We also know they have been approaching Public Relations agencies in Nairobi trying to recruit them to run a smear campaign against, we have this information,” he noted.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) received emails from the group but when they invited them to present evidence-no one showed up.

“We asked them to come forward and prove their claims but have heard nothing from them since,” said KEPSA CEO, Carole Kariuki.

Bidco Africa insists the claims made by so called activists are outright lies and distortion of facts. The claims of deforestation are manifestly untrue.

“No forests were taken in Uganda, there have been four independent Environmental Impact Assessments done and they all give the project a clean bill of health. On the question of land, out of 9,000 hectares acquired for the project, there is only one dispute with one farmer who was a squatter on someone’s land and the case is in court,” Kodey Rao the Bidco Uganda Managing Director said.

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