Recently, Kwania District authorities invited the commanders of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit to discuss mechanism of conducting the registration exercise.
The move which was aimed at regulating illegal fishing activities and conserving Uganda’s water bodies has reportedly been objected by the Fishery Protection Unit.
fishermen on landing sites around Lake Kwania has been suspended because of the
tension between Kwani District
authorities and the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit. Early this month, the Agriculture,
Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministry directed all boat owners operating on Lake
Kwania and Lake Kyoga to register their boats.
However, the move that is aimed at regulating illegal fishing activities
and conserving Uganda’s water bodies, has reportedly met objection from the UPDF
Fisheries Protection Unit. Recently, Kwania District authorities invited the
commanders of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit to discuss mechanism of
conducting the registration exercise.
However, none of them showed up. Wilfred Mega, the Kwania District Fisheries
Officer says they have now resolved with the office of the CAO to alert the
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to harmonize their
position with the UPDF Enforcement.
“When we were given that letter, we invited all stakeholders for a meeting to
discuss how to implement the directive but the UPDF commander refused to attend
the meeting. He didn’t give us the reason for not attending. He simply said he
will not attend and he didn’t attend,” Mega said.
“So now we have resolved with the CAO to contact the people at the ministry to
harmonize their position from there so that they can send us a new letter so
that the registration can take place because as of now, registration has not
taken place,” he added.
The Ministry had scheduled the 31st March, 2020 as the deadline to end the
Country wide registration of the fishermen and boat operators. Meanwhile in
Amolatar District, the Namusale Sub County Rembo Ongu, LC 3 Chairperson, says the
soldiers have stopped torturing civilians found in possession of fish and
instead confiscate their fish.
He says the soldiers
are impounding motorcycles transporting fish. The fishermen are being fined
between Shillings 400,000 and 500,000 to recover their motorcycles. Ongu says
the registration of fishermen is long overdue and calls for the immediate
intervention of the president on the same.
//Cue in: “Kara dang dong…
Cue out: … amano, lak abic.”//
Lt. Col. Moses Nuwagaba, the Commandant of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit
declined to comment on the matter. Early this month, Pius Wakabi Kasaja, the Agriculture,
Fishery and Animal Industry Ministry Permanent Secretary under directed all
Resident District Commissioners and Fishery Officers along Lake Kwania and Lake
Kyoga to register boat owners, fish mongers, fishermen, dealers and fish