Many of the British and foreign owners of tea plantations in Uganda have begun compensation negotiations with Ugandan officials.
Many of the British and foreign owners of tea plantations in Uganda have begun compensation negotiations with Ugandan officials. This follows this week's announcement that the government is to take over more than 40 businesses and tea estates owned by foreign interests. The decree, announced last Monday (18 December) was signed by President Idi Amin, and took immediate effect, but he warned that compensation would be dictated by the economic situation. A Board of Valuers is determining compensation after receipt of detailed financial declarations by the owners, and in cases of dispute, provision has been made for appeal machinery. At least two dozen of the larger tea estates are known to have entered compensation negotiations....one of them is thought to be valued by the owners at about three million pounds. Most of the properties are located on gentle hill slopes, and....according to General Amin....have been leased by Britons and other foreigners on 99-year contracts at from four to twenty pence per acre. World tea production has been falling in recent years, but a United Nations' forecast, a few years ago, estimated that by 1975 Ugandan production could be the second largest in Africa. This year's output has been a record 22-thousand tons, but a world slump in market prices is unlikely to see income meeting costs. The vital processing machinery and spares are made almost exclusively in Britain and Italy.
SYNOPSIS: This tea plantation in the Toro District of Uganda, 200 miles west of Kampala, is just one 40 businesses and estates owned by Britons or other foreigners, which is begin taken over by the Ugandan Government.
The owners have been required to submit detailed financial statements to enable a government-appointed Board of Valuers to begin assessing compensation.
World tea production has been falling, but a United National forecast a few years ago suggested that Uganda could become the second-largest producer in Africa, by 1975, This year's output has been a record 22-thousand tons, but a world slump in market price is unlikely to see income meeting costs.
Most of the properties are located on gentle hill slopes. According to president Amin they have been rented on 99-year leases for as little as four pence per acre. At least two dozen planters are known to have begun compensation negotiations, but have been warned that payments will be dictated by the economic situation.