SH18,000 NEEDED

Ms Penina Aluoch, owner of one of the three boats seized, said Ugandan security personnel demanded Sh18,000 to release the fishermen and the fishing gear.

“I have been told by the arrested fishermen that Sh18,000 is needed to have my two boats and the fishermen released,” she said.

Suba North OCPD Charles Mwangi said they were pursuing the matter and would have the fishermen released.

“We had received information on the arrest of six Kenyans from Ringiti Island. We have had them released after officials of Kenyan fishermen negotiated with Ugandan security officials,” said Mr Mwangi.

Other islands affected are Remba, Kiwa and Mfang’ano.

HARASSMENT COMMON

Lake Victoria Beach Management Units chairman Tom Guda asked the State to take the conflict seriously.

“Insecurity facing Kenyan fishermen in Lake Victoria as a result of harassment by Ugandan officers is not new. The State should end it completely,” said Mr Guda.

Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo, Nyatike MP Tom Odege and Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda yesterday said they had raised the issue of harassment of Kenyan fishermen with State officials without success.

Mr Odege said resolution of the dispute between Kenya and Uganda should form part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy.

RESOLVED PERMANENTLY

He said the row was more than 15 years old and it was high time it was resolved permanently.

Early last year, the Ugandan government brought in new officers from its People’s Defence Force to replace the ones who had been on the island for more than four years.

Although Kenyan security officers are also deployed on the island, they are outnumbered by those from Uganda.

Reports by Rushdie Oudia, Barack Oduor and Elisha Otieno

Page 2 of 2