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Amuriat Promises to End Brutality Against Fishermen on Lake Kyoga

While campaigning in Nakasongola town Amuriat said that the conditions are harsh and leave only rich people to benefit in fishing.
FDC Presidential Candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi being arrested in Nakasongola town on Saturday after he attempted to walk to Lake Kyoga for campaigns

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The Forum For Democratic Change Patrick Oboi Amuriat has promised to end brutality against fishermen. He als said that he will hand over management of Lake Kyoga to residents of Nakasongola district.

Recently Government lifted the  fishing ban on Lake Kyoga exciting fishermen who had spent over a year without work.

However the excitement was short-lived after the government introduced several restrictions leaving many local fishermen unable to return to Lake Kyoga.

Among the conditions, is that a fisherman must acquire a license and recommended twenty-eight feet boat, fishing nets, and life jacket. The boats are manufactured by one person Medi Kyalimpa alias Aloni Mohamed selectes by Fisheries Protection Unit.

Transporting fish on motorbikes and smoking of fish was also prohibited at the Lake. The number of hours and people who are supposed to fish was also restricted among other conditions.

While campaigning in Nakasongola town council residents on Saturday Amuriat said that the conditions are harsh and leave only rich people to benefit from the fishing industry. 

Others decried the brutality by the Fisheries Protection Unit which has left many people dead and others injured.

Residents demanded that Amuriat drives through the landing sites to see the fishermen living in abject and crying over brutality.

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Amuriat said that its unfair to coerce poor fishermen to buy boats from one person at tune of 10 million shillings each knowing that they cant afford.

He added that Lake Kyoga must benefit the common people rather than rich persons and foreigners. 

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However, Policemen commanded by District Police Commander Patience Namara didn’t allow Amuriat to visit the affected fishermen before they arrested him and transferred to Nakaseke district for another rally.

In 2017, President Yoweri Museveni deployed soldiers under the Fisheries Protection Unit on Lake Kyoga to combat illegal fishing practices. The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries also banned fishing on the Lake.

It followed an unprecedented increase in illegal fishing practices on Lake Kyoga, leading to the depletion of the fish stock.

Although, Lake Kyoga is now open for fishing, several residents are bitter over the operations and are vowing to not to elect President Yoweri Museveni.

Recently Sam Kigula, the LCV Chairperson Nakasongola said  that apart from brutal operations, fishermen are bitter against the unfair allocation of boats which left some to miss out and others were given to non residents.

Kigula a staunch NRM leader added that the matter has put Museveni and NRM candidates votes at stake which could affect the party support. 

President Yoweri Museveni has been scoring highly in Nakasongola district in past elections. According to Electoral Commission results for 2016 Presidential polls, Museveni  scored 84.46 %  whereas his main rival Kizza Besigye got only 13.79% .