5 Tonnes Of Impounded Fish Rotting Away At Kalangala Court

1483 Views Kalangala, Uganda

In short
At least five tonnes of immature fish belonging to embattled rally driver Ponsiano Lwakatata are rotting away at Kalangala Magistrate's Court.

At least five tonnes of immature fish belonging to embattled rally driver Ponsiano Lwakatata are rotting away at Kalangala Magistrate's Court.
 
In July this year, Police impounded the immature fish between Bukakata and Masaka road enroute to Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
The impounding of the fish sparked off bitter fight between Lwakataka, police and Kalangala fisheries officers. Lwakataka allegedly drew a gun at the police officers and nearly shot Erias Kagoma, a Kalangala fisheries officer in charge of operations.
 
Lwakataka reportedly boxed Kagoma and injured him for allegedly following him up over immature fish. But police overpowered him, impounded his immature fish and two engine boats. He was arrested and released on police bond.
 
Weeks after, Lwakataka was arrested in Kasese with another consignment of immature fish. He was charged and released on bail only to be re-arrested for his alleged involvement in murdering nine people in Kanabulemu village Kyebe Sub County in Rakai district.
 
Currently, Lwakataka is on remand at Masaka Central Prison for alleged murder of Pastor Steven Muganbe and his eight family members.
 
But three months after Lwakataka's fish was impounded five tonnes of fish worth about 100million shillings is still at Kalangala court. Uganda Radio Network reporter found the fish, mostly immature Nile Perch and some Tilapia rotting away in the store of Kalangala Magistrate's court.
 
A court clerk who declined to reveal her name says it was taken to court as exhibits. She explained that court has now resolved to spare just a few bags of fish and dispose of the rest because it is causing a strong stench at the court.  She says she hopes the fish would be disposed of next week.
 
Teopista Lule, the Kalangala Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), says they blocked distribution of the impounded fish to residents because Lwakataka was threatening them.
 
According to Lule, Lwakatata had become a public nuisance and was threatening to shoot whoever tampered with his consignment.
 
//Cue in: "He started ringing…
Cue out:…are still here."//
 
Local leaders in Kalangala say ever since Lwakataka was arrested, there is some relative breakthrough in enforcing a ban on immature fishing.
 
Willy Lugoloobi, the Kalangala district Chairman, says fishermen are now complying with the ban on illegal fishing. 

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.