Migingo Island row to be solved

"Reports of harassment have been made since Ugandan fishermen invaded local beaches and Migingo island last month." /FILE

The new found love between Kenya and Uganda is expected to make fishing operation easier.

A technical committee has been formed to solve the boundary between Kenya and Uganda on the disputed Migingo.

In the recent past Kenyan fishermen fishing in the borderline island have been harassed and some even arrested by the Ugandan police.

The two countries have different laws regulating marine activities on Lake Victoria.

The plan agreement is expected to separate regulations to make fishing operations easier,the Ugandan Government has pledged to stop harassing Kenyan fishermen on Lake Victoria but urged them to abide by marine laws.

Special Presidential Advisor in the Ugandan government Hajji Mayanja said most Kenyan fishermen breached fishing regulations on the lake thus leading to constant disciplinary action being taken against them.

Uganda swallows humble pie, promise to respect Kenyans around Migingo Island

According to the Kenya News Agency report, Mayanja urged fishermen who will be harassed by Ugandan law enforcers to report to respective authorities for action to be taken.

“We assure Kenyans that there will be no more harassment of fishermen on Lake Victoria. We do not condone habits of extortion and harassment of fishermen. It is the policy of our government to protect foreigners in Uganda,” said Mayanja.

Kenya fishermen have been complaining of frequent arrest and detention by Uganda authorities whenever they went fishing. Residents of the contested Migingo island have also complained of Ugandan soldiers storming the Island and disrupting business activities.

Ugandan marine police officers at Migingo Island in Lake Victoria. /FILE

Earlier, the soldiers reportedly lowered the Kenyan flag on the island and thereafter, chased Kenyan police men guarding the island. The Ugandan government said the stalemate surrounding the ownership of the isle was being addressed.

“There is a technical committee put in place by the two governments to solve the boundary dispute on Migingo. The outcome from the committee will be accepted by the two counties,” he said

Precisely Kenyan fishermen were harassed by Ugandan police and forced to eat raw fish on Migingo Island, those in Nyatike.

they said they have been subjected to a lot of torture by Ugandan police and military guarding the waters.

Kennedy Mkwaya, who deals in freshwater sardine or omena, said they are often forced to pay Sh5,000 taxes daily when found at the lake.

Territory does not matter, he said, adding: “They often operate at dusk and dawn when they are sure boats have big catches. Once they surround your boat, they demand taxes at gunpoint,” Mkwaya said.

The fisherman added that their stock and gear are confiscated and that they are threatened with arrests.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *