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UPDF Fisheries Unit drops 46 soldiers

 

FILE PHOTO: Fishermen have complained about UPDF brutality on the lakes
Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 46 soldiers have been sacked from the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU over the last three years Maj. Joseph Ssebukera, the Commandant of the unit on Eastern side of Lake Victoria has revealed.

He told journalists at Masese Landing site in Jinja district on Tuesday morning that the soldiers were interdicted because of brutality and extortion.

According to Ssebukera, the move is aimed at cleaning the unit following persistent complaints of incompetence and brutality leaved against the unit.

He however, lashed out at politicians for failing to acknowledge their successes and instead focus on their shortcomings.

In December last year, parliament chaired by the speaker, Rebecca Kadaga halted the operations of the Fisheries Protection Unit citing complaints of brutality leveled against soldiers involved.

However, Ssebukera said they don’t follow orders from politicians and stated that they will only stop operating when their chain of command tells them to do so.
Hours after saying this, Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Adolf Mwesigye  was explaining the UPDF position in parliament.
He said cabinet has considered Parliament’s resolution to suspend UPDF’s fishing protection Unit from major water bodies and had established a committee chaired by Minister Bright Rwamirama to inquire into the matter. It will report in three week’s time.
In parliament, Opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju asked the Defence Minister to restrain and punish soldiers who he said have been in media threatening legislators over parliament’s resolution to suspend the Fisheries Protection Unit from major water bodies.
Jinja LC boss wants regular meeting

The Jinja District LC V Chairperson Titus Kisambira meanwhile, wants the unit to organize monthly meetings where they can easily update local authorities on the progress of their operations.

“It is sad that, Jinja district is home to various landing sites where fishermen complain of UPDF brutality. However, I don’t even know where to find FPU officials. I suggest that FPU holds monthly meetings where they can easily inform leaders on their operations on the lake to control misinformation,” he said.

The FPU commenced its operations on Ugandan waters in 2017 to protect the dwindling fish resource resulting from illegal fishing practices.

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