Through their lawyer, Geoffrey Baluku of Bagyenda and Co Advocates, the traders contend that URA and the director of fisheries resources at the Kenya-Uganda one-stop border point properly inspected the fish in the truck and placed a verification seal on their products.
traders whose trucks are being held by Uganda government authorities have sued
the head of the Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU on Lake George and Edward, the
Director of Fisheries Resources in Entebbe and the Attorney General for
illegally confiscating their fish.
On October 3, 2021, Uganda Revenue
Authority together with FPU impounded five fish trucks destined for the
Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC on suspicion of transporting immature
fish. The officials impounded the trucks after the
drivers declined to surrender them for inspection. The director of fisheries
resources ordered the trucks driven to Entebbe for inspection.
owners have now run to Kasese Grade 1 magistrate court seeking orders to halt the
inspection of the vehicles. They also want the court to charge Capt. Musa Mugogo,
the commandant of the Fisheries Protection Unit, Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, the
acting Director of Fisheries Resources Management in the Ministry of
Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the Attorney General with malicious
damages and theft.
Through their lawyer, Geoffrey Baluku of Bagyenda
and Co Advocates, the traders contend that URA and the director of fisheries
resources at the Kenya-Uganda one-stop border point properly inspected the fish
in the truck and placed a verification seal on their products. They also
say that Ugandan authorities have no business impounding any goods transiting
through the country.
Byte Lawyer Baluku on charge Eng
in: “We served one…
Cue out: …seals after inspection.”//
Byte Lawyer Baluku on charge Lug
//Cue in: “URN ne clearinga paka…
Cue out: ...mubumenyi bwa mateka.”//
The traders are also protesting claims that the impounded
trucks were transporting immature fish harvested from Lake Victoria before being taken
to Kenya for repackaging.
Baluku says the vehicles were illegally
impounded and forcefully broken into before they were driven to Entebbe.
//Cue in: “A matter is in court…
Cue out: …at the border post.”//
The traders also contend that it is the duty of
URA to impound any questionable goods in transit and not police as it was in their
case. Baluku says URA neglected their duty and his client could consider
suing the tax body for failure to protest the goods it cleared to transit
through the country.
//Cue in: “It’s very embarrassing on…
Cue out: …there supervising.” //
Eric Okoth, one of the affected fish traders
says that the decision by Ugandan authorities to impound transit goods is
contrary to the cross border trade policy. He wants their goods unconditionally
//Cue in: “Am wondering whether...
Cue out: …not the truth.”//
//Cue in: “We have see…
Cue out: …mumateka tunakolaki.”//
Sentiba, the FPU Spokesperson told URN reporter in a phone interview that when
their teams intercepted the trucks, the drivers abandoned them at Mpondwe
border. He says that security liaised with the ministry to take them back to
He says they obtained a court order to
break the seals and discovered immature fish being smuggled from Lake George in
//Cue in: “Aba FPU netuteesa naba…
Cue out: ...smuggling our fish.”//
He says security is now hunting for the truck
drivers. Baluku says that his clients have been available and it is upon their
presence that they have summoned the respondents to court.
//Cue in: "How do you…
Cue out: ... summoned in court."//
On Saturday last week, Kenyan fish exporters
closed their side of Busia border protesting the impounding of their fish