51 Kenyan fishermen arrested by Ugandan authorities in Lake Victoria

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 12 Mar, 2023 22:52 | 2 mins read
51 Kenyan fishermen arrested by Ugandan authorities
Kenyan fishermen at the Kenya-Uganda border.PHOTO/COURTESY

At least 51 fishermen from Remba Island, Suba Central Sub County, Homa Bay were on Saturday arrested by Ugandan Police in Lake Victoria while on a fishing expedition.

The officers are also holding 17 fishing boats and other fishing gear which they nabbed during the event.

Homa Bay Beach Management Unit chairman Edward Oremo said each of the 17 boats had three occupants when the incident occurred.

"51 of our fishermen from Remba Island were on Saturday night arrested by the Ugandan authorities while on their fishing expeditions," Oremo said.

"We suspect that the number might be more, however at the moment we can confirm that 51 of our fishermen were arrested," the chairman added.

According to Oremo, the fishermen are said to have passed the fishing borders and entered the Ugandan side an allegation which he dismissed.

The BMU chair said it is sometimes hard to locate the exact borders in Lake Victoria while fishing.

"The fishermen are accused of crossing the fishing borders and entering the Ugandan side, an information which might not be true," Oremo said.

"While in the Lake it sometimes becomes difficult to determine the exact border line however according to reports we have, our fishermen were fishing on the Kenyan side," he added.

He said the security officers further accused the fishermen of using illegal fishing nets in their expeditions saying according to the agreement they made with the neighbouring country, the fishermen were found with the correct fishing gear.

"The arrested fishermen were using the correct fishing gears allowed by the law when they were arrested and being accused of not abiding by the laid down laws governing fishing in Lake Victoria is a lie," he said.

Oremo revealed that they have held a number of meetings to comb out issues which might cause conflicts between the two countries and wondered why the arrest of Kenyan fishermen still continues.

He blamed the security Officers for what he termed as "illegal arrest" saying the Ugandan side is trying to shift a goalpost from what they agreed on.

"At first, they never wanted us to use solar lights, larger and illegal fishing gears in the Lake, a matter which we agreed on," he said.

Oremo told the Kenyan government to take up the matter and ensure that the fishermen are released as soon as possible.

He said they have already reported the matter to Mbita Police Station for immediate action to be taken by the Kenyan security side.

He said the fishermen are currently being held at Lolwe Island in Uganda.

Related Topics