Protests over arrest of cops, crew by Ugandan police

Eric Juma @PeopleDailyKe

The arrest of three Kenyan police patrol officers and their boat crew by Ugandan police on Monday sparked protests at Nambo Beach, Bondo constituency yesterday.

The residents led by West Yimbo Member of County Assembly Willis Osowo staged a two-hour demonstration asking the government to intervene to have the Administration Police officers, the crew and boat released.

County Commissioner Joseph Narengo confirmed the arrest of the officers saying the government is in talks with the Ugandan authorities to secure their  freedom.

But by the time of going to press, there was no word on their release from Bugiiri Island Prison where they were being held.

The officers were arrested and disarmed by the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers at  Homa Islands on Lake Victoria.

The residents vowed to lobby fishermen in Siaya to stop remitting cess to Siaya County government  until the stalemate was resolved and long-term solution realised.

Carrying twigs and placards, they marched in the island before boarding and riding boats on the Lake Victoria waters to express their anger.

“We are tired of being harassed by Ugandan security officers. Our leaders must take the matter seriously by addressing  the issue once and for all,” they said.

Osowo asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and end the suffering of Kenyans in the hands of Ugandan security officers.

“Many  fishermen have lost fishing gear worth millions of shillings after being arrested by Ugandan marine police for trespassing yet Homa Island is in the Kenyan territory,” he said.

The residents also called for update on the boundary demarcation exercise spearheaded by Siaya Senator James Orengo.

Siaya Deputy Governor James Okumbe, Speaker George Okode and Leader of Majority Peter Odero urged the President to intervene and end the trade that has robbed Kenyans millions of money terms of bails.

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