Kampala, October 7 2011 – The New Forests Company is in the final throes of launching an intensive and thorough investigation into the allegations made in an Oxfam report released last month and the manner in which people were moved by Government off Namwasa and Luwunga Central Forest Reserves.
NFC continues to maintain that the vast majority of OxfamÔÇÖs claims are inaccurate, misleading and uncorroborated and that the company has acted lawfully and maintained the highest standards of social responsibility.
The company is currently interviewing reputable, international, independent social auditing companies and putting the final touches to a Supervisory Board of eminent persons from the UK and Uganda who will supervise the investigation. The investigation will look closely at the allegations and gather information from all relevant parties to capture the facts, the conduct of all involved and efforts employed to mitigate any harm caused.
The investigation will be guided by a Terms of Reference, which will be the result of external consultation and will need to be approved by the Supervisory Board. NFC will accept the outcome of this investigation and will take action to communicate, address and mitigate consequences of the resettlement process.
As the results of this investigation are critical to an informed dialogue over what has transpired at Namwasa and Luwunga NFC will not issue responses during the investigation period. We will engage Oxfam during the process and will share the results of this investigation with Oxfam and with our shareholders and stakeholders once the investigation and the final report are complete. Given the seriousness of the allegations and the need to involve internationally credible third parties, the company expects the investigation to take at least 60 days.