Museveni Investigates Army, Marine Officers Over Immature Fish Trade

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In short
Fred Kwizera, a fisherman at Nangoma landing site told Museveni that some army officers he didnt mention chased them from Lake Victoria, saying they had secured fishing rights from the former Fisheries Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa.

President Yoweri Museveni has started investigating senior army and Marine Police officers implicated for their alleged involvement in immature fish trade. 

The investigations stem from reports by Rakai district officials led by the LC V chairperson, Benon Mugabi implicating security officers for their alleged involvement in export of immature fish to the neighboring countries.  

During his visit to Nagoma Peninsular on Tuesday, fishermen told Museveni that the mentality of Orders from Above fronted by senior army officers using banned fishing gears has left ordinary fishermen jobless. 

Mugabi claimed that dozens of fishermen are jobless because the dwindling fish stocks resulting from catching of immature fish. Kasensero fish processing factory closed its operations due to the low fish stock in Lake Victoria. 

Fred Kwizera, a fisherman at Nangoma landing site told Museveni that some army officers he didn't mention chased them from Lake Victoria, saying they had secured fishing rights from the former Fisheries Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa.


He wondered why the president has only allowed army officers and marine police to carry out fishing leaving ordinary fishermen to languish in poverty.

 
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John Kazungu is a veteran of the National Resistance Army and has been involved in fishing at Kasensero landing site since 1993.

According to Kazungu, he was barred by soldiers and police from carrying out any fishing activities, despite being the chairman of Kasensero Beach Management Unit.
 
 
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During Museveni's visit, several fishermen shouted on top of their voices asking him to deal with his officers. They declined to reveal the identities of the implicated officers for fear of their lives.
 

In his response, Museveni denied allowing any soldier to carry out fishing on the Lake. He instructed Lucy Nakyobe, the State House Comptroller to get the contacts of the affected fishermen and investigate their claims.
 
 
Museveni asked the fishermen to speak freely, saying he is the commander of the implicated soldiers and can deal with them. He said the soldiers will not escape the wrath of the law, should the allegations turn out to be true.
 

Museveni asked the fishermen to emulate cattle keepers who take good care of their cows, which has increased milk and beef production. Charles Njuba, the Kyebe Sub county LC V councilor, says the implicated officers have instilled fear among fishermen at Kasensero. 

He however, says he is happy that the fishermen gathered courage and complained directly to their commander. 

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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.