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5 Tonnes Of Impounded Fish Rotting Away At Kalangala Court :: Uganda Radionetwork
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5 Tonnes Of Impounded Fish Rotting Away At Kalangala Court

At least five tonnes of immature fish belonging to embattled rally driver Ponsiano Lwakatata are rotting away at Kalangala Magistrate's Court.
Kalangala Court where the fish belonging to Ponsiano Lwakataka is rotting away

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At least five tonnes of immature fish belonging to embattled rally driver Ponsiano Lwakatata are rotting away at Kalangala Magistrate's Court.

 

In July this year, Police impounded the immature fish between Bukakata and Masaka road enroute to Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

The impounding of the fish sparked off bitter fight between Lwakataka, police and Kalangala fisheries officers. Lwakataka allegedly drew a gun at the police officers and nearly shot Erias Kagoma, a Kalangala fisheries officer in charge of operations.

 

Lwakataka reportedly boxed Kagoma and injured him for allegedly following him up over immature fish. But police overpowered him, impounded his immature fish and two engine boats. He was arrested and released on police bond.

 

Weeks after, Lwakataka was arrested in Kasese with another consignment of immature fish. He was charged and released on bail only to be re-arrested for his alleged involvement in murdering nine people in Kanabulemu village Kyebe Sub County in Rakai district.

 

Currently, Lwakataka is on remand at Masaka Central Prison for alleged murder of Pastor Steven Muganbe and his eight family members.

 

But three months after Lwakataka's fish was impounded five tonnes of fish worth about 100million shillings is still at Kalangala court. Uganda Radio Network reporter found the fish, mostly immature Nile Perch and some Tilapia rotting away in the store of Kalangala Magistrate's court.

 

A court clerk who declined to reveal her name says it was taken to court as exhibits. She explained that court has now resolved to spare just a few bags of fish and dispose of the rest because it is causing a strong stench at the court.  She says she hopes the fish would be disposed of next week.

 

Teopista Lule, the Kalangala Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), says they blocked distribution of the impounded fish to residents because Lwakataka was threatening them.

 

According to Lule, Lwakatata had become a public nuisance and was threatening to shoot whoever tampered with his consignment.

 

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Local leaders in Kalangala say ever since Lwakataka was arrested, there is some relative breakthrough in enforcing a ban on immature fishing.

 

Willy Lugoloobi, the Kalangala district Chairman, says fishermen are now complying with the ban on illegal fishing. 

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