15 Kenyan fishers still held in Tanzania - Daily Nation

15 Kenyans still in Tanzania days after arrest over fishing

Sunday February 3 2019

Fishermen in Lake Victoria.

Fishermen in Lake Victoria. The 15 Kenyan fishers arrested in Tanzania last week are yet to be released. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VIVERE NANDIEMO
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Fifteen Kenyan fishers from Remba Island in Homa Bay County have been detained in Tanzania following their arrest last Thursday for allegedly fishing illegally in its waters.

Reports indicated that they had been going about their regular activities when they were ambushed and arrested by armed Tanzanian officials.

Mr Edward Oremo, Homa Bay County Beach Management Unit chairperson, said, "The officials from Tanzania took away their boats, fishing nets and the fish they had caught."

"We have sent a team to see whether our colleagues can be released," he also told the Nation on Sunday.

Suba North divisional police commander Charles Mwangi said "no official report has been received".

PAST CASES

There has been an increase in cases of fishers being arrested by officials in other countries for trespassing.

In December 2018, there was outrage in Migori County when 36 Kenyan fishers from Nyatike were  datained in Tanzania for trespassing

In November, Kenyan authorities arrested at least 16 fishermen from Tanzania for allegedly trespassing into the country and using outlawed fishing equipment.

They were later released after the Tanzanian government intervened.

In October that year, six Kenyan fishers were arrested and detained in Vuvuma in Uganda for allegedly fishing illegally in its waters..

Kenyan fishers arrested in other countries are sometimes held for days because of the hefty fines required for them to secure their freedom.

Besides the frequent arrests, they and their Ugandan counterparts have had a long standing feud over Migingo Island, which is surrounded by fish-rich water.

Additional information by George Odiwuor