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3 Kenyan fishermen 'detained in Uganda' for trespassing

Sunday July 21 2019

Lake Victoria

Fishermen on Lake Victoria. Suba South Sub-county BMU chairman William Onditi reported on July 21, 2019 that Ugandan authorities had arrested three Kenyan fishermen for trespassing. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE ODIWUOR
By GEORGE ODIWUOR
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Ugandan security officials are allegedly holding three Kenyan fishermen accused of trespassing while fishing in Lake Victoria.

Suba South Sub-county Beach Management Unit (BMU) chairman William Onditi said the three men from Nyandiwa Beach were arrested on Sunday.

Mr Onditi claimed the Ugandan security personnel confiscated fish of unknown value, two boats and gear from the fishermen.

He added that they proceeded to another area to arrest more Kenyans.

POLICE REPORT

Reports indicated that the three men were taken to Hama Island in Uganda where they were detained.

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Their pleas for pardon did not bear fruits, it was said.

Suba South Sub-county Police Commander Richard Cheruiyot said his office has received reports of the incident.

But he added, "I am not able to identify those who were arrested. I'm still seeking more details about what happened to the fishermen."

"HARASSMENT"

The BMU chair said a second group of fishermen from Sare Beach was released but that two boat engines worth more than Sh400,000 were seized.

He said one was spotted in Lolwe Island in Uganda.

Mr Onditi asked the government to intervene and secure the release of the fishermen.

Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities have apprehended several Kenyan fishers in the past on allegations of trespassing.

While noting that the cases have been rampant, Mr Onditi accused officials from the two countries of harassment.

"We need a long term solution to the problem. Kenyan fishermen lose a lot when they get arrested," he said.