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Kenyan fishermen freed after paying Sh60,000 fine

Monday August 19 2019

Fishing in Lake Victoria

Fishing in Lake Victoria. Ugandan police on August 19,2019 released six Kenyan fishermen after paying a Sh60,000 fine. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE ODIWUOR
By GEORGE ODIWUOR
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Six Kenyan fishermen, who were arrested and detained in Uganda for trespass, have been set free after paying a Sh60,000 fine.

The six, who hail from Remba Island, were released on Monday morning after spending their weekend in detention in Hama Island, Uganda.

Remba Island Beach Management Units Network chairman Semekiah Mamra told Nation that the Ugandans also released the fishermen's fishing gears and two boats which had been confiscated.

"We had to negotiate with the Ugandans to release our men. They agreed to do so if we paid Sh30,000 for a single boat," he said.

The men were accused of trespass and using illegal fishing practices.

Mr Mamra said the Kenyan fishermen had ice in their boats.

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“Ugandan government does not allow fishermen to carry ice in the lake since this encourages overfishing," he said. 

He appealed to the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to intervene to reduce the frequent arrests of Kenyans in the neighbouring country.

"It appears the Ugandans have formed a way of extorting Kenyans. The government should look into this and help fishermen from frustrations," Mr Mamra said.