Bidco Africa is facing a “blackmail” threat from protestors which the company calims to be abstract and virtual. Marginally touching on the reason behind the social media blackmail and noise being made by a group of unknown fake protestors, Kodey Rao, who is the MD for the company in Uganda mentioned that their project has not led to the jeopardy of natural ecosystems or human livelihoods. Explaining more, he added that plots of land needed for the project were all legally acquired and also multiple Environmental Impact Assessments have been conducted and reported – these reports have no reservation for any health or environmental implications.
On the 23rd of August, protestors scouted at the Standard Chartered and Barclays Banks in London in protest against Bidco Africa. On Wednesday, Bidco Africa said that these protestors were jokes and lacks any basic reason for the activity they are exhibiting. As a matter of fact, leadership at Bidco said that there is no activism happening anywhere, everything is a joke and added that, these unknown people of been harrying Bidco for some time now. When offered the opportunity to present their claims to which they are virtually sending a message of activism, these people never showed up but rather requested for 500,000 USD to stop the attack but the company refused to this.
On an important note, CEO Vimal Shah explained that “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”. The claims of tax nonpayment is more distressing, Vimal added. According to him, Bidco pays 70m USD a year in taxes but due to their single dispute over the computation of one tax bill (which is even in court and a decision not made yet), people are acting as the general public to brand them as the bad guys.
The company has also declared that they are aware of who is behind these activities and fake protests via social media. They have mentioned that the group have made an effort to get in touch with public relations firms in Kenya so they can mount another pressure there. Bidco Africa affirmed to the public that they will not fall prey to this.
Bidco Africa shared strong sentiments, saying that they have committed to ensure a peaceful development in all areas and compensating the right people who are affected (even marginally) by their projects. The company has invested about 44m USD into infrastructure which is resulting into a makeover of poor districts into iconic cities.
“The pictures you see on social media are a big joke. There are 1800 employees at Bidco HQ – If they go on the streets to protest, everyone will know. It won’t be 10 or 20 guys.” Zipporah Mburu the executive in charge of Employee Welfare says. Other staff at the company are very concerned with the actions being made by their attackers. One representative for the company mentioned how furious it is to have people who have no basic knowledge about the activities of Bidco standing on the street acting this way.