Alfred Onenchan, the second in Command at Kaiso Immigration offices in Hoima district, says they are unable to patrol all landing sites due to manpower gaps. He says as a result, some Congolese Nationals use illegal landing sites to sneak into the country.
Wanzalla Okechi, one of the affected fishermen who is still pursuing the release of his boat engine, fishing boat and 14 sets of fishing nets told Uganda Radio Network in a telephone interview this morning that the militiamen are demanding US$ 500 to release his fishing gear.
The Congolese soldiers were arrested on Friday night last week while robbing Ugandan fishermen of their boats, nets and boat Engines near Bugoigo landing site in Buliisa district and Dei in Pakwach district.
According to reports, the armed Congolese soldiers carried an impromptu raid on the fishermen at around 9 pm accusing them of encroaching on the Congolese side. They arrested the fishermen and took away their gears to Congo.
At least 57 people were aboard the boat that capsized near Songa-Lendu landing site in Buliisa district while heading to Panyimur fish market in Pakwach District. Twelve people escaped the accident as they were rescued by fishermen. Police have since attributed the boat accident to dangerous loading.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region police spokesperson, says marine police has joined local fishermen to search for the bodies of the missing businessmen. He says the retrieved bodies are still lying at Songalendu landing site as police make arrangements to transport them to Buliisa Hospital mortuary for postmortem.
According to Aweera, the deceased who is believed to be in his 50’s isn’t known in the area. Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region police spokesperson, says the body is lying at Buliisa general hospital pending postmortem and positive identification. .
The deceased identified as Bright Musinguzi 32, a resident of Kigoya village Buliisa sub county Buliisa district was swept away by floods resulting from the water levels of Lake Albert on Wednesday Morning.
John Kato, a fisherman at Sebigoro landing site in Kikuube district, says the fate of the fishermen is unknown since they haven’t heard from them since Saturday. He wants the government to immediately intervene and compel the Congolese government authorities to set the fishermen free.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson told Uganda Radio Network on Friday that the four suspected Congolese militiamen all armed with guns struck at around 1AM and put the Ugandan fishermen at gunpoint before ordering them to surrender to them the two boat engines.
The deceased has been only identified as Kumakech, a fisherman attached to Mbegu landing site in Kabaale Sub county Hoima district. His other colleague who survived the boat accident is only identified as Opio.