Breaking

Fishermen Want FPU Investigated for Allegedly Selling Impounded Fish in DRC

Fishermen at various landing sites say their impounded immature fish by the FPU operatives is ending up in the DRC fish markets.
Fishing boats at Kijangi landing site in Hoima district. Fishermen have raised a red flag against the FPU operatives for allegedly selling their impounded immature fish in DRCPhoto by Emmanuel Okello.

Audio 4

Fishermen on Lake Albert in the Bunyoro sub-region want top army officials to investigate the fisheries Protection Unit-FPU operatives for allegedly selling impounded immature fish in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.

The FPU has been conducting operations against illegal fishing gear on Lake Albert Since August.  However, fishermen at various landing sites say their impounded immature fish by the FPU operatives is ending up in the DRC fish markets.

According to the aggrieved fishermen, the FPU operatives are conniving with boat transporters both in Uganda and DRC to quietly sneak their impounded immature fish to DRC through the lake Albert waters, a thing they have seriously condemned.  

Robert Mujuni, the Chairperson Kaiso landing site fishing community in Hoima district says it is unfortunate that the army deployed to curb down illegal fishing activity is again involved in dubious acts hence calling for immediate investigations against the officers.

//cue in;” As fishermen we…

Cue out:…fish to DRC.”//  

Kassim Agaba another fisherman at Kaiso landing site wonders why the top commanders of the FPU operatives have failed to supervise and monitor their actions while on the lake saying if they were being supervised, they would not be conniving to sell the impounded fish to DRC.

//Cue in;”Ba connivinga na…

Cue out:…aba li mu operations.”//  

Rogers Bakwata, a fisherman at Bugoma landing site in Kikuube district says that the actions of the operatives will compel fishermen to violently protest their operations on the lake since they have turned around to promote illegal fishing by selling their impounded immature fish to DRC instead of destroying them or giving them out to the vulnerable people.

//cue in;” They are keeping the…

Cue out:…any good impact.”//  

Robert Kyalisiima, a fisherman at Walukuba landing site in Buliisa district explains that FPU operatives have tainted the image of the force before members of the public adding that serious action must be taken against them by their superiors.

//cue in;”Ensamaki zi kira…

Cue out:…Mukatale ka Congo.”//

A boat transporter at Sebigoro landing site in Kikuube who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity explains that he has transported twice fish given to him by the FPU operatives to fish markets in DRC.

He says the fish is taken to Tchomia and Kasenyi fish markets in Bunia district, Ituri province in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.   

But Lt. Lauben Ndifula, the FPU spokesperson has however dismissed the allegations being made by the fishermen as baseless.  He says most of the fishermen are not happy with the ongoing operations of illegal fishing by the FPU on the lake and therefore want to create allegations that can taint their image before the public.

In 2017, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers to deploy on all the lakes in the country to combat illegal fishing practices to protect the fish resources that were under threat of depletion and dwindled fish stock in the country.

The operation comes at a time when Parliament is currently scrutinizing the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, 2021.