Obey law to avoid arrests, L. Victoria fishermen told

George Odiwuor @PeopleDailyKe

Uganda has promised to stop harassment of Kenyan fishermen in Lake Victoria only if they abide by maritime laws.

Special Presidential Advisor Mayanja Mohamed accused Kenyans of breaking fishing laws, a trend that has led to constant arrests and detention.

He said Uganda is committed to protecting all traders in the lake  and asked those who will  as from yesterday be harassed by security officers to report to the relevant authorities.

“We assure Kenyans that there will be no more harassment of fishermen on Lake Victoria. We do not condone extortion and  harassment of fishermen. It is the policy of our government to protect foreigners,” said Mohamed.

Speaking at a cross-border meeting that brought together heads of security from counties bordering the lake, legislators from both Uganda and Kenya and Lake Victoria beach officials, Mohamed said the dispute  surrounding ownership of Migingo Island is being handled by a special committee.

“A technical committee has been formed by the two governments to solve the boundary dispute.  We hope that the outcome will be accepted by the two nations,” he said.

Homa Bay County Commissioner Irungu Macharia said Kenya and Uganda are working on harmonised laws that would guide all fishermen operating on Lake Victoria.

Currently,  both countries have distinct laws that govern fishing activities including the types of nets and the size of fishing boats.

Macharia said officials from both governments are working on common laws that will enable fishermen to move across borders without interference.

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