building at Kasensero landing site in Kyotera district over the glaring
differences between Uganda fishermen and their Tanzanian counterparts with whom
they share much of Lake Victoria waters.
The hostility between the Uganda and Tanzanian fishermen stems
from the ongoing operations against illegal fishing practices by both countries.
Peter Kaali, a prominent fisherman at Kasensero landing site
accuses their Tanzanian counterparts of mistreating them whenever they find
them on the waters.
Kaali explains that many of their fishing gears including
boats, engines, fishnets and sometimes their fish catch are confiscated by Tanzania
fishermen backed by armed personnel who accuse Ugandans of fishing beyond their
He says the Tanzanians often stage ambushes at Mabiro, about
16 kilometers North of Bukoba Town in Tanzania where they arrest Ugandan fishermen
and torture them.
that despite using illegal fishing gears, Tanzanian Fishermen often cross up to
Kasensero landing site in Uganda where they fish with impunity.
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Lawrence Muganga, the Chairperson of Fishermen at Kasensero
Landing site, says local fishermen have started retaliating against the Tanzanians
they find fishing on the Ugandan side because of failure by the authorities to
address the problem.
He says the growing hostilities between the two groups have
often resulted into violent clashes especially at night, warning that the
situation might escalate unless the authorities act.
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the Tanzanian authorities have arrested 19 Ugandan fishermen, impounded at
least 26 Ugandan fishing boats, motor engines and dozens of fishnets.
The Ugandans are
reportedly locked up in Bukoba prisons. He claims that their efforts to restore
normalcy between the warring parties have failed to yield results.
He calls upon
government to engage Tanzanian authorities directly to resolve the current
impasse as well deploy adequate Marine Police personnel to protect Ugandan
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An officer attached to the Marine Police Unit deployed at
Kasensero landing site told on condition of anonymity so as to speak freely
told URN that fishermen from either sides treat each other as adversaries and
are always fighting.
He says they
are also overpowered by their Tanzanian counterparts who carry more
sophisticated equipment. The source said
they have made a report to higher Police authorities who they expect to
initiate high level discussion about the situation.
Robina Ssentongo, the Kyotera District Woman MP, says she formally
petitioned the parliamentary committee on East African Integration recently asking
it to look into the complaints of Ugandan fishermen.