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Leaders accused of frustrating operations against illegal fishing

FILE PHOTO: Fishing in Lake Victoria

Politicians have been accused of frustrating operations against illegal fishing on Lake Victoria.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The commander of UPDF- Fisheries Protection Unit in the districts of Jinja, Kamuli, Mayuge, Buyende and Bugiri, Lt. Ronald Akandwanaho says that ever since Members of Parliament raised concerns of alleged torture inflicted on fishermen by the soldiers illegal fishing activities are on the increase.

Akandwanaho says that the leaders should instead support the operation. He explains that since October up to date, illegal fishing gears comprising of 350 small boats and 160 beach seines have been destroyed in Jinja and Mayunge.

Akandwanaho also accused fishermen of pelting law enforcement officers with stones while carrying out operations.

Paul Mbaizi, the chairperson of the Association of fishers and lake users (AFALU) in Busoga sub-region, says that politicians in the area are siding with the culprits and ignoring the concerns of the law enforcement officers.

Scovia Nangobi, a fishmonger says that sensitization on the dangers of illegal fishing should be taken to markets where the immature fish is sold.

“This operation to end illegal fishing should be taken to markets where the immature fish is sold and when the culprits loose market for their products, this vice will be phased out,” she said.

In September, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga demanded for the arrest of Lt Col James Nuwagaba, the commander of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU), for allegedly torturing and extorting money from fishermen in the operations against illegal fishing.

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